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Muslim citizenship in everyday Australian civic spaces
journal contributionposted on 2015-01-01, 00:00 authored by Josh RooseJosh Roose, Anita HarrisAnita Harris
Questions about Muslims, multiculturalism and citizenship continue to shape the political discourse of many nations, including Australia, a nation often foregrounded as a beacon of multiculturalism in practice. The key assumption underlying these questions is that Islam constrains the full possibilities of citizenship in multicultural secular societies and that Muslims must be actively steered towards participation in civic life. By contrast, this article, based on research with 80 young Australian Muslims from migrant backgrounds reveals how Australian Muslims are enacting everyday citizenship through active, self-driven participation in multicultural civic spaces. This is a process overlooked by contemporary government approaches to the management of Muslim communities and alike. This article argues that is it access to these spaces of everyday interaction rather than an emphasis upon securitisation and civic literacy that fosters the development of citizenship and civic engagement central to the success of Australian multiculturalism. The article provides important considerations for those concerned with the future viability of multicultural policies.