Towards understanding what Australia's Muslims really think
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Over the past decade, issues concerning Islam and Muslims have featured prominently in public and media discourse. Much of this discourse is stereotypical, anecdotal and often unsubstantiated. Indeed, relative to the extent of comment on Islam and Muslims, few factual data exist on what Muslims really think. This article presents the views and opinions of the Queensland Muslim community based on the findings of a survey conducted at the 2009 Muslim Eid Festival in Brisbane. The findings of this research contradict many of the assumptions made about Australia's Muslims concerning their views and opinions on a range of social and political issues. The research shows that Muslims highly value Australia's key social and political institutions, including its democracy, judiciary, education and health-care systems. However, Muslims do express a lack of trust in certain institutions, namely the mass media. Also, consistent with the views of people globally, Muslims are deeply concerned about conflicts in the Middle East as well as the environmental crisis. This article suggests the need for a shift in public discourse to more accurately reflect the commonality, rather than incongruity, between Muslim views, opinions and concerns and those of the wider society.
Journal of Sociology
Urban Sociology and Community Studies