In a March 2005 article, "Which Privileges for Islam?" I distinguished between legitimate and illegitimate privileges for Muslims, summed up in this phrase: "Offer full rights – but turn down demands for special privileges."
This entry documents some of the special privileges accorded Muslims living in the West, in reverse chronological order.
"Govt puts $8m towards Islamic institute": The federal government of Australia has promised A$8 million to help establish an "Institute of Islamic Studies" at an as-yet unnamed Australian university. It is expected to attract up to 300 students when it opens in 2007. Andrew Robb, the parliamentary secretary for immigration and multicultural affairs, announced the donation:
The courses will provide many subjects relevant for those training to be Muslim religious leaders, providing an important vehicle for the teaching of Islam in an Australian context. This will be particularly helpful to young Australian Muslims who want to understand the role of religion in Australia. The centre will attract eminent, moderate Islamic scholars from around the world who will provide an authoritative community reference point.
Of the $8 million, $4.4 million will go for human rights education in Muslim communities, $1.6 million for programs to boost employment in two heavily Muslim regions, and $1 million for an inter-faith education program. (July 16, 2006)