Special Issue "Islamic and Muslim Studies in Australia"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444). This special issue belongs to the section "Religions and Psychology/ Social Sciences".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 November 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Halim Rane
Website
Guest Editor
Griffith University, Australia
Interests: Islamic Studies; Islam–West Relations; Sociology of Religion; Political Islam; Muslim communities in the West; Media and Communications

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The growth of Muslim populations globally, in the Asia–Pacific region, and in Australia means Islamic and Muslim studies in Australia are increasingly important. Over the past two decades, Islamic and Muslim studies in Australia have grown along with some notable contributions to the scholarly literature, including the Melbourne University Press Islamic Studies Series. However, research on Islam and Muslims in Australia tends to receive less attention than in other Western countries. This Special Issue will contribute to filling this gap.
 
The aim of this Special Issue is to showcase some of the most important research currently being undertaken in Islamic and Muslim studies in Australia. The papers will address the challenging and often unprecedented phenomena concerning Islam and Muslim Australians that have developed particularly since the turn of the century. Scholars in the fields of Islamic and Muslim studies are invited to submit papers on Islamic religious thought and practice; Islamic groupings and organisations; migration, settlement and integration; citizenship and belonging; social cohesion and intercommunity relations; Islamophobia, radicalisation and extremism; national and community security; and other issues concerning the historic and contemporary conditions, experiences and representations of Islam and Muslims in Australia.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Halim Rane
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Islamic thought
  • Islamic practice
  • Islamic groupings
  • Muslim organisations
  • migration
  • settlement
  • integration
  • citizenship
  • belonging
  • social cohesion
  • intercommunity relations
  • Islamophobia
  • radicalisation
  • extremism
  • national security
  • community security

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
On the Discursive and Methodological Categorisation of Islam and Muslims in the West: Ontological and Epistemological Considerations
Religions 2020, 11(10), 501; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11100501 - 30 Sep 2020
Abstract
This article reflects on the ethical and epistemological challenges facing researchers engaged in contemporary studies of Islam and Muslims in the West. Particularly, it focuses on the impact of the constructions and categorisations of Muslims and Islam in research. To do this, it [...] Read more.
This article reflects on the ethical and epistemological challenges facing researchers engaged in contemporary studies of Islam and Muslims in the West. Particularly, it focuses on the impact of the constructions and categorisations of Muslims and Islam in research. To do this, it considers the entwinement of public discourses and the development of research agendas and projects. To examine this complex and enmeshed process, this article explores ideological, discursive and epistemological approaches that it argues researchers need to consider. In invoking these three approaches alongside an analysis of a collection of recent research, this article contends that questions of race, religion and politics have been deployed to reinforce, rather than challenge, certain essentialist/orientalist representations of Islam and Muslims in the West in research. As this article shows, this practice is increasingly threatening to compromise, in a Habermasian communicative sense (i.e., the opportunity to speak and be heard for all concerned), the ethical and epistemological underpinnings of social science research with its emphasis on inclusion and respect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Islamic and Muslim Studies in Australia)
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Open AccessArticle
Muslim Community Organizations’ Perceptions of Islamophobia: Towards an Informed Countering Response
Religions 2020, 11(10), 485; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11100485 - 24 Sep 2020
Abstract
During the past two decades, Muslim Community Organizations (MCOs) in the West have increasingly become stakeholders in the public debates and the national consultations regarding the Muslim communities. MCO’s perception of Islamophobia is critical for understanding their collective response to the problem. Much [...] Read more.
During the past two decades, Muslim Community Organizations (MCOs) in the West have increasingly become stakeholders in the public debates and the national consultations regarding the Muslim communities. MCO’s perception of Islamophobia is critical for understanding their collective response to the problem. Much of the Australian literature, nonetheless, tends to subsume Islamophobia within the dynamics of exclusion/inclusion within a social cohesion paradigm, and primarily through a focus on individuals. This article aims to contribute to the existing literature through a deeper contextual understanding of Australian MCOs’ framing of and engagement with Islamophobia in its various manifestations, in order to better cognize its impact on their agentic capacity. Deploying an expanded theoretical framework of agency structure, this article analyzes 25 interviews with representatives of Victorian MCOs, to explore their perceptions of Islamophobia across multiple domains of power—the social, discursive and the political. MCOs’ perceptions of the problem impact their responding anti-Islamophobia civic–political engagements towards soft grassroots connections and Muslims’ empowerment. In light of the findings, the article points for the need to enhance building inter-community solidarity, utilize supportive institutional multicultural schemes and establish a separate Muslim advocacy organization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Islamic and Muslim Studies in Australia)
Open AccessArticle
Islam in Australia: A National Survey of Muslim Australian Citizens and Permanent Residents
Religions 2020, 11(8), 419; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11080419 - 14 Aug 2020
Abstract
This article presents the findings of a national survey on Islam in Australia based on responses of 1034 Muslim Australian citizens and permanent residents. Knowing what Muslim Australians think about Islam in relation to Australian society is essential for a more informed understanding [...] Read more.
This article presents the findings of a national survey on Islam in Australia based on responses of 1034 Muslim Australian citizens and permanent residents. Knowing what Muslim Australians think about Islam in relation to Australian society is essential for a more informed understanding about Islam and Muslims needed to address misinformation, Islamophobia, and extremism. The findings presented in this article include typologies of Muslims; sources of influence concerning Islam; interpretations of the Qur’an; perspectives on ethical, social, and theological issues; issues of concern; social connections and sense of belonging; views on various Muslim-majority countries; and perspectives concerning political Islam, including jihad, caliphate, and shariah. While respondents’ understandings, interpretations, and expressions of Islam overall align with values and principles of equality, human rights, social cohesion, and social justice, a minority were found to understand and interpret Islam in ways that reflect the influence of late 20th and early 21st century ideas associated with Islamist political ideology, and a smaller sub-group were found to have views that could be considered extreme. This article discusses these findings in relation to the early 21st century time-period factors and the Australian social context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Islamic and Muslim Studies in Australia)
Open AccessArticle
The New Muslim Ethical Elite: “Silent Revolution” or the Commodification of Islam?
Religions 2020, 11(7), 347; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11070347 - 10 Jul 2020
Abstract
Very little research has examined the emergence of Western Muslims into the elite professions that are central to the operation of the capitalist free market and that serve as a central location of economic and political power. Less research still has examined how [...] Read more.
Very little research has examined the emergence of Western Muslims into the elite professions that are central to the operation of the capitalist free market and that serve as a central location of economic and political power. Less research still has examined how this is shaping citizenship among Muslims and the future of Islam in the West. These professions include finance, trade and auditing and supporting free market infrastructure including commercial law, consulting and the entrepreneurial arms of government public service. Many Muslim men and women in these professions maintain a commitment to their faith and are often at the forefront of identifying opportunities for the application of Islamic principles to the free market through the development of social engineering mechanisms such as Islamic finance and home loans, Islamic wills, marriage contracts, businesses and context-specific solutions for Muslim clients. These may have a potentially profound impact on belonging and practice for current and future generations of Western Muslims. The political and economic clout (and broader potential public appeal) of these new Muslim elites often significantly outweighs that of Imams and Sheikhs and thus challenges traditional textually based Islam. This article, grounded in empirical research, seeks to build upon very limited research looking at Muslim elites, exploring these developments with specific reference to professionals working in Islamic finance and law across the Western contexts of Australia and the United States, two countries with capitalist free markets and significant Muslim minorities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Islamic and Muslim Studies in Australia)
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