Australia's War on Terrorism: Impact on Australian Muslim Communities

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review


The debates and legislation since 2001 around the themes of “counter terrorism”, “war against terrorism” and “war on terrorism” in Australia have generated complex scenarios, leading to fear, Otherness; us versus them. Mainstream debates on counter terrorism created fear among mainstream society to view Muslims as the threat, simultaneously leading to fear among Muslims from the state. Muslims communities felt that they are criminalized through legislation, openly doubting their allegiance to Australia and criminal intents. Public discourses gave an impression (to Muslim communities) that Muslims have the sole responsibility of countering terrorism in Australia and have to provide information on potential suspects and suspicious activities in their communities. Muslims became a “fifth column” especially of Middle Eastern origin, however it eventually labeled Pakistani & Indian Muslims as terrorists – in dire need to scrutiny by all. Some of these vociferous negative discourses, and legislative measures have created an atmosphere of “guilty by association”, justifying curtailing civil liberties in the name of countering terrorism. Civil liberties advocates have criticized these measures as a potential tool for victimization on a number of political grounds. However, Muslim communities have experiences victimization since these discourses entered the public debate. Irrespective of the reality of these fears - “guilty by association”; “being labeled as potential terrorists”; “un-Australian”; “Other”; “citizens with suspect allegiance”; “guilty until proven innocent” – Muslims are feeling the impact on their sense of belonging, and Australian identity. Muslim women at the same time have to confront an additional factor if they chose to wear headscarves. This paper would be exploring all these issues from the perspective of migrants as well as Australian born Muslim youth
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCounter Terrorism and Social Cohesion
Subtitle of host publicationCommunity Safety in Multicultural Australia: Counter Terrorism, Social Cohesion and Belonging
EditorsAlperhan Babacan, Hussein Tahiri
Place of PublicationNewcastle (UK)
PublisherCambridge Scholars Publishing
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9781443832922
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventCommunity Safety in Multicultural Australia: Counter Terrorism, Social Cohesion and Belonging - RMIT, Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 8 Oct 2010 → …


ConferenceCommunity Safety in Multicultural Australia: Counter Terrorism, Social Cohesion and Belonging
Period8/10/10 → …


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