Muslims, Multiculturalism and Aboriginals in Australia


Added on  2020-05-04

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Running head: CRITICAL REFLECTIONMuslims, Multiculturalism and Aboriginals in AustraliaStudent NameUniversity nameAuthor Note

CRITICAL REFLECTIONBuilding a successful and inspiring nation is long, difficult and complicated process. Anation is a group of people who share tradition, history, religion, language and culture. Thenational identity of any nations builds up depending upon common identity beyond individualidentities (McLaren, 2017). Australian national identity has to overcome various internal culturaland religious conflicts in order to establish itself permanently. Australia is like a mosaic of manyreligions and many cultures. Australia as a country has always been exhibited great tolerance towards the diversecultures and religions (Bouma, 2016). However the historical and cultural difference betweenChristianity and Islam is too big to ignore and but we must engage itself with a creative dialogthat deals with the difference with a positive aim. Australian Census has reported that the numberof Muslim in Australia is more than 600,000 and 2.6% of the total population (Abs.gov.au,2016). Every Muslim loves Australia like any other Australian does. Australia represents anation that welcomes diverse cultures from all over the world and people live in peace andharmony. The treatment towards the Muslim community in Australia has changed like most ofother western countries after 9/11 (Cherney & Murphy, 2016). The media generalized theMuslims and associated the whole of the community with some extremists who want nothing butdestruction of that peace and harmony. The depiction of Islam during this period has affected thecitizen’s perspectives greatly. In Australia, the Muslims are also misinterpreted as a religionbased on extremism, fanaticism, terrorism and violence. Here too the people face prejudices,discrimination and inequalities from the society especially as a result of media’s portrayal of thecommunity (Sultan, 2016). That is why the representatives from the community are increasing innumbers who are defending their religion through the newspaper articles, radio programs or

CRITICAL REFLECTIONtalks. Muslims in Australia are experiencing the discrimination in various ways like attacks inMosques. We are experiencing how Muslim women in Australia are facing discriminationagainst their traditional attire called burqa (Chopra, 2015). Fred Nile, a conservative memberfrom the parliament proposed ban on hijab had sparked huge controversy (Barker, 2014). Thereare multiple reports that the women in burqa have been spat on and there head scarves have beenripped. They face harassment, abuse and assaults not only on streets but also in schools andworkplaces. There are Islamic press is Australia like El-Telegraph: Al Watan or Saut al Mughtarebthat has been working in improving the cultural tradition in Australia (Ata, 2013). Though thismedia was too isolated from the mainstream society but the second generation of representativesis getting more involved into a greater integration. The educator can play important role in theprocess where they will acknowledge and guide the students from diverse background. Thenumber of children from the mixed marriage is also increasing so the society has to welcomethem more openly in every parts of life. A significant step towards the integration would be the educational initiatives in the stateand national level. We are experiencing that gradually the generation is transforming into bi-cultural citizens who will definitely enhance the confidence, comfort and relationship amongpeople from various cultural or religious identities. I strongly belief that the visibility of Islam isgetting increased in the Australian society and it is not far when the Muslims in Australia will beidentified as Muslim-Australian where both the identities are acknowledged (O’Donnell, Davis& Ewart, 2017).

CRITICAL REFLECTIONThe immigration policies of Australia have greatly changed the cultural scenario ofAustralia. It is true that the nation has taken this shape by the people from various ethnic,religious and cultural backgrounds. Contemporary Australia is a nation where all the citizens,despite their cultural backgrounds call the country their home and multiculturalism has becomeits core of national identity. Multiculturalism can be defined as an ideal concept that encouragesmultiple communities to live peacefully and enjoy equal opportunities (Modood, 2013). Thehistory of Australia tells that the one of the original inhabitants of Australia are the Australianaboriginals who have been living in the country for more than 50000 years (Gibbons, 2017).Then the European colonizers like Spanish, French, Dutch and English colonized the place.However the British started developing the county and settled there for a longer period. In theinitial phase of twentieth century the immigration restriction policies and Pacific Islands LaborerAct resisted the immigrants into the country. Till the Second World War Australian society wasdominated by only Europeans. During Second World War many non European people settled inthe country. Allowing the non European refugees in the country exhibited the first step towardsdeveloping a multicultural society. Multiculturalism was widely accepted by the Australian society and supported by thegovernment. The mainstream politics affected the multiculturalism like the actions John Howardtook driven by traditional Australian values (Hussein & Poynting, 2017). However we are nowexperiencing that the governments both in national and state level have been changing towards abetter situation. The national and state governments are incorporating multiculturalism in variousparts of life as a strategy to enhance community relationship and social equilibrium. In order tomake Australia a nation of multiculturalism the government has established “The Council forMulticultural Australia” (Roose, 2016). The council worked to increase the awareness related to

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