Engaging with diversity: A case study of the intercultural experiences of Muslim and non-Muslim students in an Australian school
The study explored how students in a highly diverse school experienced interacting within and between their languages, cultures and faiths.The findings highlight how students, and the school community more broadly, interpret, reflect on and manage reflexively the phenomenon of diversity. The role of languages and cultures is seen as key in mediating and creating spaces for diverse ways of knowing and learning, believing and being, and ultimately, belonging. This is significant when we learn that more students at the school are multilingual than monolingual, and 50 percent of the students are not Catholic, but Muslim. From the perspective of students and the school community, understanding one another in terms of a Muslim and non-Muslim distinction is considered to be an overly simplistic representation of their experience of interacting in diversity. The faith-based nature of the school facilitates a supportive response to the diverse religious identities and needs of the students, and there is an emphasis on creating a whole-of-school culture of learning and understanding through an ongoing dialogue of engagement and reciprocity. Read the report here.
Islamophobia, social distance and fear of terrorism in Australia: a preliminary report
The MnM Centre has released a new report that focuses on Australians’ perceptions of Muslims, in particular levels of Islamophobia, feelings of social distance and concern about terrorism. It investigates how demographic factors such as age, religion, place of residence, employment status and political views affect the likelihood that someone is Islamophobic, feels socially distant from Muslims, or is worried about a terrorist attack.The research for this study was supported by grants from the Life Course Centre (LCC), an Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course at the Institute of Social Science Research, University of Queensland and the International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding of the Hawke Research Institute, University of South Australia. Read the report here.