In the context of Islamophobic narratives in ‘western’ countries, including Australia, Muslim minorities are increasingly under pressure. Some attribute this hostility towards minorities to the long-standing conflict in the Middle East and more recently a series of terrorist attacks by ‘Islamist extremists’.
UNESCO Chair-holder in comparative research on cultural belonging and social justice, Professor Fethi Mansouri, shared research insights in a workshop hosted at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology that brought some of Australia’s leading researchers of racism, Islamophobia, and urban diversity together.
“Contemporary debates about Muslim Diasporas frequently focus on the question of whether Muslims living in the West have the capacity to be fully active citizens while maintaining their religious obligations.” – Islamic Religiosity in the West report.
Comparing existing insights into its causes, forms, consequences and possible policy responses, the workshop aimed to advance conceptual understanding of Islamophobia in Australia. Many case studies in Australia show evidence of Islamophobia, and Australian Muslims adapting their behaviour due to the fear of harassment and discrimination.
Similarly Islamic Religiosity in the West the latest research project led by Prof. Mansouri, investigated how participation in Islamic religious practices strengthens attachments to the ‘western’ cities where Muslims have chosen to live.