THE EARLY HISTORY OF MICRO AND MESO DIALOGUE BETWEEN MUSLIMS AND NON-MUSLIMS IN AUSTRALIA.

  • David Ian Sneddon CSU
Keywords: Interfaith, Dialogue, Australia, Islam, Muslims, non-Muslims

Abstract

Interfaith dialogue has been touted as a means to solve many of the religious divisions that have arisen in an increasingly global and multi-faith society. In Australia, now a multi-cultural and multi faith society, a range of organisations exist to facilitate this dialogue, most coming in to existence after the 1960’s This paper will review the early dialogue between Muslims and non-Muslims as portrayed in the public record. It covers pre and post-Colonial Australia, up until the 1950’s. As inter-faith dialogue becomes more important in an increasingly global society, it will examine the effect that micro and meso level dialogue has influenced social harmony at some levels. By examining the public record and the narratives surrounding the Macassans, Afghans and other early Muslims, this paper will firstly argue that micro and meso dialogue prior to the 1950s’ between Muslims immigrants and non-Muslims made a contribution to the social harmony in Australia. Secondly, despite many attempts by Muslims, meso level dialogue was often ineffective and sometimes failed for a variety of reasons. Additionally, it will point to the need for further research in order to paint a complete picture of the levels of dialogue between Muslims and others throughout Australian history.

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Published
2019-02-14
Section
Articles