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Countering Islamophobia : Muslim participation in multifaith networks
journal contributionposted on 01.10.2011, 00:00 authored by Anna HalafoffAnna Halafoff
In recent years a heightened awareness of global risks has produced an unprecedented interest in global peace and security initiatives. This article discusses the impact of international crisis events on religiously diverse communities in Australia, in particular rising Islamophobia, migrantophobia and attacks on multiculturalism. Religious communities have been far from passive in their responses to the impact of these events, initiating dialogue and educational activities to dispel negative stereotypes and attitudes. In addition, state actors, including police, have prioritized engagement with religious leaders, and this has resulted in a rise of state supported multifaith peacebuilding activities. The article argues that, in response to global risks of terror and exclusion, multifaith movements and multi-actor networks, including religious leaders, state actors, educators and the media, have the potential to advance common security. In response to conflicts both local and global, these examples of cooperation between religious and non-religious actors in Australia can be instructive to other increasingly multifaith societies.