In recent years, the Muslim identity has emerged as an affirmative blend of Australian and Islamic culture in Australia. The contemporary Islamic culture is now perceived to have its own unique niche and prominence in a multicultural society.
The book by Dr Abe Ata, Us & Them: Muslim-Christian Relations and Cultural Harmony in Australia, delivers an excellent account and perspective on what it means to be a Muslim in a growing multicultural, multi-religious, technological contemporary Australia.
The book serves as an excellent resource of essays, both varied and interdisciplinary in nature, that seek to challenge the images of Islam held by both xenophobic Westerners and extremist Muslims.
“Australia displays an outstanding record in displaying tolerance and in accommodating an incredibly diverse population. While the cultural and historical differences between Christian and Muslim communities in our society are too great to make a complete reconciliation easily achieved, given the alternatives, a creative dialogue must continue,” says Dr Ata.
The broad and diverse perspectives covered in this project are important and topical and have not been gathered before in published form.
They are written by contributors who are members of Muslim community and outsiders, lay and religious, academic and non-professional; Australian and beyond.
This in many ways widens the frame of reference, effectiveness of argumentation and style of criticism.
About the author:
Dr Abe W Ata graduated in psychology at the American University and was nominated as a delegate to the United Nations’ World Youth Assembly in New York. He completed his doctorate at Melbourne University in 1980.
He was an Honorary Fellow at the Australian Catholic University (2000-2010) and is currently an Honorary Fellow at Deakin University.
His cross-cultural training background, multidisciplinary approach and sensitivity in conducting and interpreting a wide range of research projects are demonstrated in his publication of 15 books including Us & Them: Muslim-Christian Relations and Cultural Harmony in Australia (2009).