Advertisement

Secularism, Society, and Symbols of Religion: Bosnian Muslim Australians Encounter Christmas

  • Lejla Voloder
Chapter

Abstract

In recent years, the presence and ‘visibility’ of Muslims in Australia has become particularly pronounced. Often this issue has centred on the problematic positioning of Muslims in the secular state. Such discourse, however, has neglected to critique the presence and visibility of other forms of religious identification in Australia, and thus leaves the normative role and presence of Christianity in formulations of an Australian multicultural secular society unexamined. In this chapter, I discuss how Bosnian Muslims confront and engage with these differential forms of religious visibility and how such tensions inform their experiences of secular belonging in Australia. Drawing on this ethnographic material, I argue that debates and definitions of ‘visible’ and ‘invisible’ religious identification in a secular state are political acts which work to demarcate and contest the bounds of national and social inclusion.

Keywords

Visibility of Muslim Australians Bosnian Muslims religious identification Australian multicultural society differential forms of religion 

References

  1. Al-Ali, N. (2002). Gender relations, transnational ties and ritual among Bosnian refugees. Global Networks, 2(3), 249–262.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Asad, T. (2003). Formations of the secular: Christianity, Islam, modernity. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Baumann, G. (1992). Ritual implicates ‘others’: Rereading Durkheim in a plural society. In D. de Coppet (Ed.), Understanding rituals (pp. 97–116). London/New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brighenti, A. (2007). Visibility: A category for the social sciences. Current Sociology, 55(3), 323–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bringa, T. (1995). Being Muslim the Bosnian way. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Casanova, J. (1992). Private and public religions. Social Research, 59(1), 17–57.Google Scholar
  7. Cockburn, C. (Ed.). (1998). The space between us: Negotiating gender and national identities in conflict. New York: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  8. Colic-Peisker, V. (2003). European refugees in (white) Australia: Identity, community and labour market integration. National Europe Centre Paper No. 111, Australian National University. http://www.anu.edu.au/NEC/publications_ethnic.php, accessed 23 Feb 2005.
  9. Hage, G. (1998). White nation. Sydney: Pluto.Google Scholar
  10. Hefner, R. (1998). Multiple modernities: Christianity, Islam and Hinduism in a globalizing age. Annual Review of Anthropology, 27, 83–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Johns, A., & Saeed, A. (2002). Muslims in Australia: The building of a community. In Y. Haddad & J. Smith (Eds.), Muslim minorities in the west (pp. 195–216). Walnut Creek: Alta Mira.Google Scholar
  12. Johnson, C. (2007). John Howard’s ‘values’ and Australian identity. Australian Journal of Political Science, 42(2), 195–209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Jupp, J. (Ed.). (1988). The Australian people: An encyclopedia of the nation, its people and their origins. NSW: Angus & Robertson.Google Scholar
  14. Jupp, J. (2007). From white Australia to Woomera: The story of Australian immigration. Port Melbourne: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kabir, N. (2006). Muslims in a ‘White Australia’: Colour or religion? Immigrants and Minorities, 24(2), 193–223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Maddox, M. (2005). God under Howard: The rise of the religious right in Australian politics. Crows Nest: Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar
  17. Merleau-Ponty, M. (1968). The visible and the invisible. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Naber, N. (2000). Ambiguous insiders: An investigation of Arab American invisibility. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 23(1), 37–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Petrone, K. (2000). Life has become more joyous, comrades. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Poynting, S., & Noble, G. (2004). Living with racism: The experience and reporting by Arab and Muslim Australians of discrimination, abuse and violence since 11 September 2001. Report to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.Google Scholar
  21. Poynting, S., & Mason, V. (2007). The resistible rise of Islamophobia: Anti-Muslim racism in the UK and Australia. Journal of Sociology, 43(1), 61–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Sarkar, M. (2001). Muslim women and the politics of (in) visibility in late colonial Bengal. Journal of Historical Sociology, 14(2), 226–250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Taylor, C. (Ed.). (1992). Multiculturalism and “the politics of recognition”. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Yalçin-Heckmann, L. (1994). Are fireworks Islamic? Towards an understanding of Turkish migrants and Islam in Germany. In C. Stewart & R. Shaw (Eds.), Syncretism/anti-syncretism: The politics of religious synthesis (pp. 178–195). London/New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. York, B. (2003). Australia and refugees, 1901–2002: Annotated chronology based on official sources: Summary. Australia: Information and Research Services, Department of the Parliamentary Library.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Political and Social Inquiry, Faculty of ArtsMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia

Personalised recommendations