Leila Khaled

Proposed Title

How effective is ISRE (Muslim scripture) in making better Muslims and better citizens?


The welfare and education of Muslim youth raised in Australia should be a concern to parents, educators, and society at large.  Muslim youth have been unjustifiably affected by the destructive realities of Islamophobia. To make matters more complex, Muslim youth have developed issues with identity and belonging, and some are involved in drugs, crime, and more recently violent extremism.

Since quality religious education plays a crucial role in addressing some of these issues,my research aims to investigate the effectiveness of Special Religious Education (commonly known as scripture) as an intervention to develop character, identity and active citizenship of Muslim students in public schools. This could reveal a mass scale, cost-effective and more appropriate measure for preventing violent extremism, countering effects of Islamophobia, and in turn addressing the wellbeing concerns of Australian Muslim youth.

Why I chose Charles Sturt

I completed 2 previous degrees with Charles Sturt. Bachelor of Secondary Education and Master of Islamic Studies. I found the concern for social justice and the common good present in the choice of readings we were asked to study. Assessments were relevant and useful for application in the real world. The staff are professional and compassionate. I also had personal experience of staff at schools I worked at making positive comments about Charles Sturt.

Engagement and Memberships

Charles Sturt: Centre of Islamic Sciences and Civilisation – Research Team Member (currently on leave)

Islamic Community and Academics Network - member


Conference Papers

  1. (UPCOMING) Special Religious Education: A justified option for Muslim youth facing unjustified pressures

    Brisbane Dec 2019: Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) Annual Conference.

  2. How effective is ISRE (Muslim scripture) in making better Muslims and better citizens?
    Melbourne Oct 2016: Australasian Conference on Islam.


  1. Religious freedom and Australia’s Muslim minority: Does the religious freedom of Australia’s Muslim minority meet community expectations?

Report Submission

  1. 2012 Sydney Muslim Community Leaders Response to the ALP discussion paper on religious freedom
Current candidate profiles