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