Islam in Australia

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Allen & Unwin, Feb 1, 2003 - Social Science - 240 pages
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Islam reached Australia's shores before Christianity, but it is only in recent times that its believers have become a significant part of Australia's rich cultural mix.

What is Islam and who are its practitioners in Australia? What do they believe and how do they practice their beliefs here? What exists behind the often negative stereotypes presented in the media?

In this brief and accessible introduction to the world of Islam, Abdullah Saeed dispels the myths and explains the background to one of humanity's oldest and most intriguing religions---with particular reference to Islam now, and to the experience of Muslims in Australia.

He outlines the emergence of Islam and its remarkable contributions to areas such as philosophy, science, astrology and medicine. This overview creates a context in which to think about Islam---its worldview, key concepts and ideas, practices and institutions, sacred places and times---and provides the reader with an understanding of the fundamental tenets of this religion, as it is lived by over 300 000 residents of Australia.

This book gives an insight into Islam today, providing a basis for understanding the high degree of diversity among Muslims while keeping an eye on what unites them.

Muslims are often depicted as an identical mass, when in fact in Australia, they make up one of the most culturally diverse groups in the community.

In the wake of September 11 and the recent bitter controversy over asylum seekers, Islam in Australia counters the ignorance and prejudice with facts about the 'people next door'.
 

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Contents

Introduction
Halal food
143
Islamic schools
149
Muslim women
157
Perceptions of Islam and Muslims
183
Commitment to fundamental Australian values
198
Epilogue
209
Selected bibliography
217
Endnotes
223
Copyright

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Page 42 - Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: I will create a vicegerent on earth. They said: wilt Thou place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood? Whilst we do celebrate Thy praises and glorify Thy holy (name)"?
Page 40 - We have sent thee inspiration, as We sent it to Noah and the Messengers after him: we sent inspiration to Abraham, Isma'il, Isaac, Jacob and the Tribes, to Jesus, Job, Jonah, Aaron, and solomon, and to David We gave the Psalms.
Page 162 - The Believers, men And women, are protectors, One of another; they enjoin What is just, and forbid What is evil: they observe Regular prayers, practise Regular charity, and obey God and His Apostle. On them will God pour His mercy: for God Is exalted in power, Wise, God hath promised to Believers, Men and women.
Page 52 - The relatively minor role of doctrine as contrasted with behavior is reflected in the five "pillars" of Islam, the fundamental obligations imposed on each and every believer. The Prophet is supposed to have said: "Islam is built upon five things, testimony that there is no god but God and that Muhammad is the Messenger of God...
Page 43 - O mankind! Be conscious of your Sustainer, who has created you out of one living entity, and out of it created its mate, and out of the two spread abroad a multitude of men and women.
Page 118 - All praise is due to God alone, the Sustainer of all the worlds, The Most Gracious, the Dispenser of Grace, Lord of the Day of Judgment!
Page 187 - I believe we are in danger of being swamped by Asians . . . They have their own culture and religion, form ghettos and do not assimilate.
Page 40 - And dispute ye not with the people of the Book, except with means better (than mere disputation), unless it be with those of them who inflict wrong (and injury): But say: "We believe in the revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to you; our God and your God is One; and it is to Him we bow (in Islam)" — (29:46) The Quran persistently advises Muslims a peaceful course with the people of the Book.
Page 27 - O people! I charge you with ten rules; learn them well! Do not betray, or misappropriate any part of the booty; do not practice treachery or mutilation. Do not kill a young child, an old man, or a woman. Do not uproot or burn palms or cut down fruitful trees. Do not slaughter a sheep or a cow or a camel, except for food. You will meet people who have set themselves apart in hermitages; leave them to accomplish the purpose for which they have done this. You will come upon people who will bring you...

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About the author (2003)

Abdullah Saeed is Head of the Arabic and Islamic Studies program at the University of Melbourne. He is currently working on a major research project on change in Australian Muslim communities. His publications include Muslim Communities in Australia (co-edited, 2001) and an Essential Dictionary of Islamic Thought (co-authored, 2001). He has published numerous articles in refereed journals and reference works.

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