multicultural Hot Words

Making multicultural Australia

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Hotword: Muslim...




Muslims are followers of the Prophet Muhammad and believers in the religion of Islam. The 2001 Census indicated that there were 281,578 Muslims, from over sixty different countries, living in Australia, 1.4% of the population. Their common language of religious observance is Arabic, but their only other common language is English.

What makes it hot?

Muslim is a very hot word, carrying with it images of terrorism, associated with three other hot words - jihad (often wrongly translated as a holy war against the non-believer), fatwa (also wrongly thought of as a binding declaration of officially sanctioned murder of an enemy), and Sharia (often thought of as highly restrictive and fundamentalist Islamic law).

In fact, Islam is a religion of peace, tolerance and morality, though it has been used by regimes and movements to justify many intolerant and destructive actions. One of the most difficult things for non-Muslims is to separate out the political goals of those claiming to speak for Muslims, from the central tenets of the religion and its moral values.

Date Added:

10 March 2002