Muslims as Archetypal Suspect Citizens in Australia

  • Jan A Ali Western Sydney University
Keywords: Muslims in the West, Securitisation, Othering, Suspect, Citizen


Muslims as archetypal suspect citizens in Australia is a product of Australian state approach to manage a section of supposedly “rogue population.” Muslims have been increasingly framed as a security problem and, therefore, their securitisation. The horrendous atrocities of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States followed by a new period of similar attacks in various parts of particularly the Western world provided a new stage for an extensive range of discourses involving politicians, public intellectuals, academics, and journalists swiftly securitised Islam as an existential threat to  Australian liberal democracy. This paper probes the politics of Muslim suspect and how securitizing and “othering” of Australian Muslims in the name of managing security threat to Australian national order are rendered Australian Muslims archetypal suspect citizens. It suggests that the politics of suspect and securitizing and “othering” of Muslims in Australia transforms security from the problem of producing national order to making Muslims feel unwelcome citizens.



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