Us & Them: Muslim-Christian Relations and Cultural Harmony in Australia

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Australian Academic Press, 2009 - Religion - 178 pages
Cross-cultural research provides exceptional insights into the hopes and fears of dealing with people different to ourselves. In Australia, such research suggests that Australian Muslims have surpassed Asians as one of the country’s most marginalised religious and ethnic groups. Muslims and people from the Middle East are thought to be unable to fit into Australia, with more than 50% of Australians preferring their relatives did not to marry into a Muslim family. Yet this statistic masks diverse interpretations of interfaith relations and cultural harmony present across Australia today. In  12 essays Us and Them offers truths about interfaith relations as they are believed and expressed by Muslim and non-Muslim Australians. The essays are interdisciplinary and varied in topic, and seek to challenge the images of Islam held by both xenophobic Westerners and extremist Muslims. Drawn from a variety of research projects over past years, including results from a national survey on attitudes towards Islam and Muslims among Australian secondary students, they also raise thematic questions, such as: Will any dialogue lead to a rapprochement between the Muslim and mainstream communities? What is Christian-Muslim diversity? Why does it matter? Can we really learn how to manage diversity in the workplace? Can the Shari’a law coexist with the Australian legal system on issues including polygamy, marital status and dress? This book is essential reading for all students — secondary through to tertiary and postgraduate — requiring an introduction to Christian Muslim relations and attitudes in Australia .
 

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Contents

CrossReligious Misunderstanding or a Clash Between Civilisations in Australia
7
ChristianMuslim Households Identity and Attitudes to Their Australian Children
19
Attitudes of SchoolAge NonMuslim Australians Towards Muslims and Islam A National Survey
33
The Lebanese in Melbourne Ethnicity Interethnic Activities and Attitudes to Australia
45
Education
63
The Role of Gender Religion and Friendship in the Perception of the Other An Investigation of Secondary Students in Australia A National Survey
65
The Role of Australian Schools in Educating Students About Islam and Muslims A National Survey
81
Social Distance From Muslims A National Survey
99
Attitudes of SchoolAge Muslim Australians Towards Australia Gender and Religious Differences A National Survey
111
MuslimChristian Intermarriage
125
Adjustment and Complications of ChristianMuslim Intermarriages in Australia
127
Bereavement Anxieties and Health Among the Arab Muslim Community
145
Observing Different Faiths Learning About Ourselves Practice With Intermarried Muslims and Christians
157
Opting for an Eschatological Interpretation of Interfaith Marriages
173
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