Contemporary Islam

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 131–147 | Cite as

The constructions of Sydney’s ‘Muslim ghettoes’

  • Ryan J. Al-NatourEmail author

This paper concentrates on various present day constructions of supposed ‘Muslim ghettoes’ within Sydney, Australia. Several Australian anti-Muslim activists usually envision these ‘ghetto’ regions as overpopulated, contaminated slums overrun with ‘un-Australian’ criminals. These racist images surfaced in the recent controversy over a proposed Islamic school in Camden, located in Sydney’s far south-west. Between 2007 and 2009, opponents of the proposal organised anti-Muslim rallies, wrote protest letters to newspapers, distributed several protest leaflets, attracted the support of politicians and even placed severed pigs’ heads on the proposed site with an Australian flag (see Al-Natour 2010). These events of protest collectively make up the Camden Islamic school controversy. While arguing that Muslims have no place in Camden, protestors often contrasted Camden’s rural and white identity with Sydney’s urban and culturally diverse qualities. Opponents referred to Sydney’s ‘Muslim...


Australian Islamophobia Sydney Muslims Ghettoes Islamic schools Anti-Muslim racism 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Western SydneyPenrithAustralia

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