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With guarded optimism? Evidence from focus groups of ‘mainstream’ Australians’ perceptions of Muslims

Lentini, Pete, Halafoff, Anna and Ogru, Ela 2011, With guarded optimism? Evidence from focus groups of ‘mainstream’ Australians’ perceptions of Muslims, Islam and Christian-Muslim relations, vol. 22, no. 4, pp. 409-432.

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Title With guarded optimism? Evidence from focus groups of ‘mainstream’ Australians’ perceptions of Muslims
Author(s) Lentini, Pete
Halafoff, Anna
Ogru, Ela
Journal name Islam and Christian-Muslim relations
Volume number 22
Issue number 4
Start page 409
End page 432
Total pages 24
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication Oxon, U. K.
Publication date 2011-10
ISSN 0959-6410
1469-9311
Keyword(s) Australia
Islam
Muslims
Islamophobia
anti-Muslimism
inter-cultural relations
Summary Studies of Australian perceptions of Muslims and Islam tend to be based on research into media representations of these themes. Additionally, most research on attitudes pertaining to social cohesion and security in the post-9/11 environment concentrates on the opinions of minority groups on these matters. The following study is drawn from materials extracted from focus group discussions relating to Islam, multiculturalism and security that took place with 119 Australians from so-called ethnic and religious majority groups (European descended, and identifying with Judaeo-Christian traditions or having no religious affiliation) in selected metropolitan and rural/regional centres of the state of Victoria in 2007–2008. This article is guided by the following research questions: How can ‘mainstream’ Australian attitudes towards Muslims be categorized? What concerns ‘mainstream’ Australians most about Muslims? Can these attitudes be considered to be Islamophobic? If not, how else may we classify these attitudes? Although some participants voiced very strong, critical and at times unflattering and potentially antagonistic opinions of Muslims, most contributors were guardedly optimistic that current tensions with and controversies surrounding Australia’s Muslims would subside, and that Muslims would soon become well established within Australian society, as previous generations of migrants have since World War II.
Language eng
Field of Research 220499 Religion and Religious Studies not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2011, Taylor & Francis
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30043778

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Faculty of Arts and Education
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