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Islam in Sydney: Contesting the Discourse of Absence

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Non-recognition is one of the key modes of re-inscribing the Other. In Sydney's anti-mosque politics this form of oppression was manifest as a discourse of absence. Sydney Muslims have been portrayed as non-existent within, or external to, localities where mosques have been proposed. In these circumstances claims to belonging and citizenship by Sydney Muslims have been fundamentally injured. Census data are used to challenge the historical and contemporary constructions of Islamic absence in Australia. Sydney Muslims are a culturally diverse and somewhat disparate faith group. They are increasingly present in areas outside of the initial zones of residential focus. This diversity and dynamism is a substantial challenge for Islamic community building (Ummah) in Sydney and presents rich foci for further research.

Keywords: Islam; Sydney; discourse of absence; diversity; mosques

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0004918042000311359

Affiliations: University of New South Wales Australia

Publication date: November 1, 2004

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