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To be or not to be an Australian: Focus on Muslim youth

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In 2001, 67% of Australians identified themselves as Christians and only 1.5% as Muslims, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Other Australians are Jews, Buddhists and Hindus - to name just a few of the religious minorities. Since 1975 until recently when the Anti-Discrimination Act was legislated, multiculturalism has been the official policy of the Federal Government. Yet in these terror-ridden times, the policy - however interpreted - has well and truly fallen into disfavour. This article discusses both the historical and contemporary dimensions of Muslim Australians' national identity, focusing particularly on Muslim youth. It examines how one group of Australian-born Muslims exhibited their national identity during the Second World War and how the newly arrived Muslims feel about their identity during the 'War on Terror'. The article is based on both primary and secondary sources - particularly on oral testimonies.

Keywords: Muslim; culture; heritage; loyalty; national identity; youth

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia

Publication date: December 1, 2008

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