Challenging the Crisis: A short course of lectures & workshops

13 September 2004 to 11 October 2004

The Islamic Council of Victoria in association with La Trobe University. the course was led by Joseph Camilleri together with Dr Michalis S. Michael and assistance from Mr Craig Woolley

Melbourne, Asutralia

The course considered some of the most pressing questions facing the Australian Islamic community, including the question of terrorism, the ‘war on terror’, and the so-called ‘clash of civilisations’. Is such a clash the cause of the dramatic events we witness at the local through to the global levels, or are there less emotive yet more critical factors that must be understood? And what do we make of the concept of democracy, and how might it factor help us to address the grave circumstances of concern to Australia’s Muslim communities?

The workshop programme was desinged to challenge convneitonal perceptions of these issues, and to provide skills that would help participants to develop concrete responses to the issues of concern in Australian society. Role playing in a hypothetical scenario wasthe starting point for this. Later workshop sessions focused on developing skills in relation to the workings of the Australian political system and its legal structure and rights and obligations. Another workshops focused on developing an understanding of the media and imparting advocacy skills, as well as practical communication and organisational skills which can contribute to more effective participation in  Australian social and political life.