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Examining Islamic religiosity and civic engagement in Melbourne
journal contributionposted on 2017-01-01, 00:00 authored by Matteo VerganiMatteo Vergani, Amelia Johns, Michele Lobo, Fethi MansouriFethi Mansouri
With geopolitical concerns surrounding the rise of militant, transnational groups who draw on Islamic texts for legitimacy, the place of Islam in western societies has become a source of anxiety, fear and suspicion. The central concern is whether Muslims living in the West have the capacity to become fully active citizens. This article uses quantitative and qualitative methods to examine whether Islamic religiosity is a predictor for civic engagement and active citizenship among Muslims living in Melbourne, Australia. The findings show that organized religiosity can be a strong predictor of civic engagement, countering the discourses that demonize Islam as a source of radicalization and social disengagement. While the findings show that suspicion of divisive forces and lack of trust in public institutions might prevent some young Muslims from engaging in formal political participation, grassroots civic engagement enables Muslims to demonstrate care and feel like active citizens of the Australian community without compromising core religious values.