The Muslim Student Associations (MSAS) and the Formation of the Australian Ummah

  • Mahsheed Ansari
Keywords: Muslim students, Australian Ummah, AFMSA, FAMSY, Silma Ihram, International students

Abstract

The evolution of Australian immigration policies led to the development of two key phases in the 20th century that changed the entry and settlement of Muslim migrants to Australia. Besides the phasing out of the White Australia Policy, the overlooked impact of the Colombo Plan and its correlation with the Muslim Youth Movement of Australia has not yet been considered. Moreover, the role of international students in universities led to the formation of Muslim student associations across Australian campuses from the 1960s. These associations and societies provided ground-breaking opportunities and safe spaces for the upward mobility, activism and communal development of their members. While the newly arrived Muslims were trying to find means to settle and lay the foundations of their communal life, the university associations were advancing into amalgamated national bodies, which through their activities soon became a referential establishment in national and international relations. This article traces the foundations and development of Muslim student associations in Australia, which shed light onto the Islamic revival euphoria that was prevalent at the time. This subsequently encouraged the Islamisation of the student associations as they became more focused on Islamic activism that contributed to the creation of the Australian ummah.

Published
2019-02-14
Section
Articles