Religiosity, Attitudes on Diversity and Belonging Among Ordinary Australian Muslims
Islamic incompatibility is a core discourse of fringe political parties, mostly from the right of the political spectrum, who have agitated against religious diversity and also against immigration of Muslims, especially from certain parts of the world. Smaller scale political alliances, against mosque developments, private Islamic schools or halal certification, also draw heavily on this pre-supposition. Despite the preponderance of such despondent commentary, there is surprisingly little by way of empirical analysis of this assumption of incompatibility. This paper draws on a community survey (n:585) and the results show high rates intercultural mixing in workplaces, educational settings and socially, with little evidence for separatism. These Australian Muslims have very positive views about cultural diversity, most perceive there to be consistency between Islam and Australian norms, and they see themselves as Australian. Those with stronger levels of religiosity have even more positive views on diversity and consistency. We offer two explanations, one based on official multiculturalism, and the other on tenets of Islamic thinking on toleration and moderation.
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