CISAC Islamic Studies Research Colloqium

Date

Fri 30 Sep 2022

Time

3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Location

Online
ZOOM

The Centre of Islamic Studies and Civilisation continues with the Islamic Studies Research Colloquiums. We have two upcoming research presentations, followed by discussions after each presentation.

Presentation Details

Dr Jan A. Ali will present at 12:00 – 12:45 pm (AEDT): Islam and Muslims in Australia: Settlement, Integration, Shariah, Education and Terrorism

 Mirela Cufurovic will present at 13:00 – 13:45 pm (AEDT): A New History of Muslims in Australia: Emotion, Identity Integration, and the Making of a Community in a Post-9/11 World

The first presentation will be delivered by Dr Jan A. Ali on Islam and Muslims in Australia: Settlement, Integration, Shariah, Education and Terrorism, from 12:00 – 12:45 pm (AEDT).

Islam has long been a part of the multicultural landscape of major urban centres in Australia and encompasses a great diversity of theological, jurisprudential and cultural practices. Despite this, in popular discourse, media presentations and political debates Muslims are depicted as a homogeneous group. In this work I examine the growing presence of Islam and Muslims in Australia and how it is transforming, and transformed by, social, cultural and religious spaces. Islam and Muslims in Australia illuminates how socio-cultural, economic and political processes maintain and manage the ways Australian Muslims build their religious lives and identities and engage in the wider world, while facing the inevitable effects of modernity. I show how Islam and Muslims in Australia comprise diverse institutional processes and functions, social routines and norms, and sacred rituals and practices.

The second presentation will be delivered by Mirela Cufurovic on A New History of Muslims in Australia: Emotion, Identity Integration, and the Making of a Community in a Post-9/11 World, from 13:00 – 13:45 pm (AEDT)

Abstract

Muslims in Australia have integrated successfully in the economic sphere, and to a significant extent the social sphere, but are currently undergoing the process of identity integration. That is, Muslims in Australia are increasingly developing a strong awareness about their Australianness and Muslimness leading to an integrated identity. In this respect, they feel emotionally connected to both their Muslim identity and their Australian identity as they have strong feelings of attachment to both identities. Although a relatively new field, this research draws on the study of emotions. More specifically, it refers to Jonathan Mercer’s theory that emotion is linked with identity to trace the extent to which Muslims in Australia feel, or identify as, Australian Muslims. The central focus of the research is this: to what extent do emotions—and by extension, emotional attachment—lead to identity integration? The research hypothesises that, in the 2020s, Australian Muslims have begun the development of a distinct Australian Muslim identity as they have developed emotional attachment to the land and to the people of Australia other than their immediate community.

If the hypothesis is proved true, the research will contribute significantly to the field of Islamic Studies and the study of emotions in identity formation. It will show how integration requires emotional attachment and how minority groups living in the West can develop an identity that is unique to their circumstances. Exploring the role of emotion in the identity integration of Australian Muslims invites the Australian Muslim community to ask themselves ‘how do I feel as an Australian?’, instead of instinctively reacting to the political, social, economic, and cultural environment around them. The research will be conducted through qualitative analysis. A survey will be made available for the Australian and Australian Muslim community to complete regarding the place of Australian Muslims in society. The survey will be followed by focus group discussions with Australian-born Muslims, both male and female, between the ages of 18 to 28, on what it means to be an Australian Muslim, what it means to be successfully integrated, and to what extent emotion plays a role in this process.

About the Authors

Dr Jan A. Ali

 Jan A. Ali is Senior Lecturer in Islam and Modernity in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts at Western Sydney University. He was the Convenor of Islamic Studies in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts and Community and Research Analyst in the Religion and Society Research Centre at the Western Sydney University. Jan is the Founding Convenor of the WSU Postgraduate Islamic Studies Network. He is a religious sociologist who specialises in Islam. His main sociological focus is the study of existential Islam. His published books are A Sociological Study of the Tabligh Jama’at: Working for Allah (2022, co-author); Organ Transplantation in Islam: Perspectives and Challenges (2022); Islam and Muslims in Australia: Settlement, Integration, Shariah, Education and Terrorism (2020); Islam in the West: Perceptions and Reactions (2018, co-editor) and Islamic Revivalism Encounters the Modern World: A Study of the Tabligh Jama’at (2012).

Mirela Cufurovic

Mirela Cufurovic is a Research Associate at Charles Sturt University and a history and sociology tutor for the Indigenous Tutorial Assistance Scheme (ITAS) at the University of Sydney and the Indigenous Academic Success Program (IASP) at Charles Sturt University. Mirela is also a Media and Communications Officer for the Australian Association of Islamic and Muslim Studies (AAIMS), and the Assistant Editor for the Australian Journal of Islamic Studies (AJIS). Mirela teaches history at Western Sydney University College and International College. Mirela has completed a Bachelor of Political, Economic and Social Sciences (BPESS) and is a History Honours Class I graduate from the University of Sydney. She recently graduated with a Masters degree (with Distinction) in Islamic Studies with Charles Sturt University, Australia. Mirela is currently a PhD candidate at Charles Sturt University, writing a thesis on the new history of Muslims in Australia. Mirela’s area interests are: Australian Muslim history, Balkan history, Oral history, and the History of Emotions.

Zoom link will be provided upon registration.

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