Coming Events 2016

Deakin University in Melbourne has launched its inaugural Chair in Islamic Studies and Intercultural Dialogue located within the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation (ADI). It is seen as a step towards developing foundations “where people of different traditions and beliefs get the opportunity to know one another and work together towards the ideal of living in peace.” Read more

In the wake of the US Presidential elections two of the nation's largest Jewish and Muslim advocacy groups have combined to launch a new national group: the Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council to fight bigotry and to protect freedom of religion and constitutional rights for all American citizens. Read more

Over three hundred Muslim religious leaders, scholars and heads of state gathered in Morocco in January 2016 to affirm the rights of minorities living in Muslim-majority contexts. The Marrakesh Declaration (Booklet) builds on historical Islamic sources such as the Charter of Medina. Read the Executive Summary and a Special Report published by the Cambridge Institute on Religion and International Studies (CIRIS) and the US Institute of Peace (USIP).

Delegations of Shia and Sunni Islam, the Roman Catholic Church and Anglican / Episcopal leaders are gathering in November in the Iranian capital Tehran for the fourth Christian-Muslim Summit of Religious Leaders. Their theme is Respect for human dignity: the foundation for peace and security. Read more

Speaking to some 200 representatives of different religions gathered in the Vatican in November, Pope Francis urged them to foster a peaceful encounter of believers and genuine religious freedom. Read more

Mosques all around Australia welcomed thousands of people of all faiths and diverse background in order to build community understanding and harmony on National Mosque Open Day. Read more

A newly published book, “The Sultan and the Queen: The Untold Story of Elizabeth and Islam,” by Professor Jerry Brotton reveals that Elizabethan England’s relationship with the Muslim world was far more amicable and extensive than is often appreciated as Queen Elizabeth I developed diplomatic, commercial and military ties with Muslim rulers in Iran, Turkey and Morocco in the sixteenth century. Read more  

Bishop Miguel Ayuso Guixot, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, will travel to Egypt on 23 October to prepare for the official re-launching of dialogue between the Holy See and the Al-Azhar Mosque and University, marking a seismic step in Catholic-Muslim relations. Read more

Pope Francis has sent greetings to the Jewish community of Rome and throughout the world to mark three upcoming Jewish holidays. Read more

Sheikh Fehmi Naji-El-Emam, a senior and much loved Islamic cleric who had a major influence on the development of Islam in Australia, has passed away at the age of 88. Read more Read also Sheik Fehmi talked me out of going to war.

Kazakhstan is a land of peaceful co-existence between Catholics and Muslims. Read more.

Religious leaders have celebrated the 30th anniversary of St. John Paul II's Assisi interfaith peace gathering in 1986 and called on people from around the world to continue its legacy to combat today's indifference and violence. The event between 18-20 September was held in Assisi to reflect on the theme "Thirst for Peace: Faiths and Cultures in Dialogue."Click here for the Common Declaration. Read reports of the event, the address of Pope Francis, and the address of Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople.

The Bridge Initiative, a research project based in Georgetown University, Washington DC, has released a report that sheds light on American Catholics’ views of Islam. The 74 page report is titled “Danger & Dialogue: American Catholic Public Opinion and Portrayals of Islam”. Click here to read a Summary. Click here to read the Report.

The theme was ‘Ethics and Migration: Christian-Muslimrelations in a persecuted region and the impact on immigration,’ for the sixth annual Bishop Joe Grech Memorial Colloquium held in Melbourne in August. Read more

At a brief, unscheduled meeting with the imam of Perugia, Abdel Qader Mohammed thanked Pope Francis for his recent statement that true Islam is not a religion of violence, but of peace. Read more

Muslims across France have attended masses in solidarity with the Christian community after the murder of 85-year-old priest Fr Jacques Hamel. Read more

Copies available!

Martha Ann Kirk and Patricia Madigan, Iraqi Women of Three Generations, San Antonio Texas Peace Centre and the Gϋlen Institute, 2014. Order here


Copies available!

Trish Madigan, Women and Fundamentalism in Islam and Catholicism: negotiating modernity in a globalized world (Oxford: Peter Lang Publishers, 2011). Order here










Thurs 3                           Luncheon lecture:  Michele Fonseca, Head of Strategy and Staff Development at ABC News, will be presenting on “The ABC of Diversity”. Venue: Affinity Intercultural Foundation - Level 5, 51-57 Pitt St, Sydney.  Time: 12:00 - 13:30 (Light lunch served between 12pm and 12.30pm). RSVP to by 31st October 2016.

Thurs 24                            Prof Ori Z. Soltes, Goldman Professorial Lecturer in Theology and Fine Arts, Georgetown University (USA), will speak on "Finding Spirituality Through Art in the Modern World: According to Jewish, Christian and Islamic Perspectives". Venue: Affinity Intercultural Foundation - Level 5, 51-57 Pitt St, Sydney. Time: 12:00 - 13:30 (Light lunch served between 12pm and 12.30pm). RSVP to by 23 November 2016

Wed 30                          Masterclass: Contemporary Voices in Multicultural Australia.  How can you be a positive voice for social change? Join Australia’s leading contemporary Muslim voices Yassmin Abdel-Magied, Jihad Dib, Osman Faruqi and Amna Karra-Hassan in a discussion about multicultural Australia. When: Complimentary refreshments from 6:00pm for 6:30pm start. Where:  The Whitlam Institute, Female Orphan School, Rydalmere, Sydney. Cost: Free. The Whitlam Institute is proud to partner with the United States Consulate General Sydney for this event. Register at


Interfaith service and community gathering with Reverend Shalani McCray. Meeting Room 2, Cronulla Central Complex, 38-60 Croydon St, Cronulla. Plenty of parking in the adjoining carpark, 7.30pm. Fellowship with light supper follows 1st Tuesday of the month. Enquiries: or

An Interfaith Meditation Group meets on the 1st Sunday of each month from 5-6pm at the Ron Dyer Centre in the grounds of the North Sydney Catholic Church, corner of Miller and Ridge Sts. Contact Paul or Judi Taylor, ph. 9954 1037. See flyer

Interfaith gathering led by Reverend Brookes McTavish, 1st Sunday of each month, Chapel by the Sea, 95 Roscoe Street, Bondi Beach NSW 2065, 7 pm. Tel: 9130 3445. Enquiries: