Dr Rachel Woodlock

Picture of Dr Rachel Woodlock.

Dr Rachel Woodlock is an academic and writer who researches and teaches about Islam and Muslims. She co-edited Fear of Muslims? International Perspectives on Islamophobia with Professor Douglas Pratt (Springer, 2016), an evidenced-based examination of Islamophobia in both 'old-world' Europe and the 'new-world' of America and Australia, and also Southeast Asia. She also co-wrote For God's Sake: An Atheist, a Jew, a Christian and a Muslim Debate Religion (Pan MacMillan, 2013), discussing some of life's biggest questions.

She completed a Bachelor of Arts (Arabic & Islamic Studies) and a Master of Islamic Studies at the University of Melbourne, and her doctoral research undertaken at Monash University looked at the social integration of religious Muslims in Australia. Dr Woodlock has lectured widely and taught subjects on Islam and Muslims at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Her area interests include religio-political interpretations of Islam; Muslims in Australia; Islamophobia; Islam and gender; and Islamic heterodoxy.

Page from the Qur'an
women in a mosque
Moroccan tiles
Moroccan ceramics

Current Projects

Manuscript on Islam and Muslims in Ireland

Mosque in Clonskeagh, Dublin.
Mosque in Clonskeagh, Dublin.

This book introduces the general reader to the history, beliefs and practices of Islam with a particular focus on the Irish experience. It is divided into six sections covering Islam's history, civilisations, ideas, people, issues and future. As well as describing what unifies Muslims in 'what Islam teaches', it also emphasises the vast diversity that exists among Muslims.

It covers the early history, rise and expansion of Islam at a time when Christianity was beginning to mature in Ireland, and looks at the rise of Islamic dynasties and Muslim conquests—including into Europe—that resulted in cross-cultural exchanges between Christendom and the Islamic world, as well as the Crusades and the arrival of modernity, colonisation and Westernisation in the modern period. Of particular relevance to the Irish reader, it covers the Irish historical encounter with Islam both overseas and as Muslims began to settle here.

As well as an overview of Islam's major beliefs and practices, it examines the debates and diversity that exist in the Muslim world, as well as in Ireland, over who can 'speak' for Islam, which are more fully elaborated upon in sections dealing with lifecycle rituals and sensitive issues surrounding family, healthcare, education and employment as Muslims try to implement Islam (in varying degrees) in their lives in a Catholic-majority context.

In the concluding chapter, Irish attitudes towards Muslims are discussed, as are potential demographic trends both in Europe and Ireland specifically. It introduces the idea of 'kaleidoculture' first defined by Bruce Lawrence in considering the American experience. This heralds a potential future in which Irish Muslims make a unique and valuable contribution to Ireland, and develop a specifically Irish way of being Muslim.

This book gives the general reader a thorough overview and understanding of the religion of Islam and its followers, framed for the first time within the modern Irish context.

Crescent and star from mosque
Serving biryani
Mosque domes
Qur'an and coffee


Recommended Reading Lists



Apps & Tools

These are the software tools I've found are best for my needs.

  • LaTeX: A typesetting language, particularly useful for technical and academic writing.
  • Biblatex: Bibliography management. Bibtex, but better.
  • ShareLaTeX: An online LaTeX editor.
  • Texmaker: Cross-platform LaTeX editor.
  • Docear: Academic mindmapping and reference management tool.
  • XMind: Versatile mindmapping tool.
  • Scrivener: Storyboarding software.
  • Orkanizer: For those who like to use the pomodoro technique for writing.
  • Calibre: E-book library management.
  • DeDRM Plugin: Calibre plugin to future proof your ebook purchases (strips DRM from ebooks).
  • Geocommons: For creating maps with data.
  • Excel2Latex: Excel plugin to generate LaTeX tables.
  • IfThisThenThat: Automate online actions.
  • Cut and Paste Word Count: Javascript for counting words in a pasted chunk of text.
  • TeXCount: Count words in a tex document.
  • Bibme: Automatic citation formatting.
  • Sonic Mood: Ambient sound generator (OSX).
  • SoundBorb: Ambient sound generator (Windows).

Academic Resources



  • Quranic Arabic Corpus annotated linguistic resource showing the Arabic grammar, syntax and morphology for each word in the Qur'an.
  • Altafsir.com collection of Qur'an commentaries, translations, recitations and other essential resources.
  • Zekr desktop Qur'an app with a number of translations including hard to find ones like Daryabadi, Qarai, Sarwar and more.
  • QuranicAudio collection of audio Qur'an recitations including with English translations.
  • Sunnah.com searchable, bi-lingual (Arabic and English) database of hadith collections.
  • IslamicFinder portal with calendar, prayer timings, zakat calculator and other resources.
  • Seekers Guidance global Islamic seminary and fatwa-bank (largely Hanafi and Shafi'i).
  • Maryams Institute Islamic education including alimah programme for women.
  • Islam and Islamic Studies Resources collected by Prof. Alan Godlas.
  • Islamic Inheritance Calculator.
  • Zawia Ebrahim media audio and written resources for the Darqawi-Shadhili Sufi Zawia headed by Shaykh Ebrahim Schuitema.
  • HalalTube videos of Muslims speakers lecturing on various topics.
  • IslamicLandmarks.com information and photos on places of historical Islamic significance.
  • Islamicartdb.com Islamic art database.
  • Islamoriente pinterest-style collection of Islamicate art and photographs.
  • Islamic Philosophy Online comprehensive resource site for Arabic and Islamic philosophy.
  • Al-Islam Ahlul Bayt digital Islamic library project with large collection of Ithna `Ashari Shi`i resources.
  • Salvation Ark Zaydi forum with translations and questions/answers.
  • Muslim 500 annual listing of the world's most influential Muslims.
  • Kitaabun online Islamic bookseller.
  • Kazi Publications Islamic book publisher and bookseller (US-based).
  • Kube Publishing, Islamic book publisher (incl. former Islamic Foundation imprint) and bookseller (UK-based).
leaf with Islamic jewellery
view of Sana'a from rooftop
interior view of Preston mosque dome
Muslims for Peace banner


Courses & Lectures


Qur'an translations
Arabic on sign
Moroccan food
Geometric architecture


Annotated Bibliography

  • 2013. "Islam in Australia." In Oxford Bibliographies in Islamic Studies, ed. Andrew Rippin. New York: Oxford University Press.



Peer-Reviewed Articles


Book cover of Isolation, Integration and Identity


  • 2010. "Conflict and Religion as Globalizing Agent." In Mapping Violence in Southern Thailand, eds. Virginie Andre and Pete Lentini. Interim report to the European Commission. Caulfield, Vic.: Global Terrorism Research Centre.
  • 2009. Key Concepts in Islamic Discourse and Listed Terrorist Use of Media Component I: On Jihad, Mujahidin and Martyrdom. Report presented to Australian Communications and Media Authority. Caulfield, Vic.: Global Terrorism Research Centre. With Sayed Khatab, Muhammad Bakashmar and Pete Lentini.
  • 2009. Muslim Voices: Hopes and Aspirations of Muslim Australians. Caulfield, Vic.: Centre for Muslim Minorities & Islam Policy Studies. Supervised by Gary D. Bouma and Shahram Akbarzadeh.
  • 2009. Mapping Employment and Education among Muslim Australians. Caulfield, Vic.: Centre for Muslim Minorities & Islam Policy Studies. Supervised by Gary D. Bouma and Shahram Akbarzadeh.
  • 2006. Social Integration of Muslims in Cobram. Clayton, Vic.: Centre for Muslim Minorities & Islam Policy Studies. Supervised by Gary D. Bouma and Shahram Akbarzadeh.


Book cover of Religious Diversity and the Social Inclusion of Muslim Australians


Unpublished Fiction & Poetry

Decorative Moroccan plate
Coburg Fatih mosque
Henna decoration on hand
Minbar at Auburn Gallipoli mosque


Audio & Visual

Brigid Aylward, Bara Alich, and Rachel Woodlock with Ray D'Arcy.
L-R: Brigid Aylward, Ray D'Arcy, Bara Alich, and Rachel Woodlock.


Stained-glass window in Yemen
Camel-riding in Morocco
Lattice work
Pages from Qur'an manuscript