Although Islam is a minority religious affiliation in our Nation (comprising about 2.2% of our population according to the 2011 census), in recent times Muslims have been increasingly ostracized by those who supposedly represent our “national interests.” Our Movement is diametrically opposed to such division (and to those who seek to propagate it). Instead, we seek to unite all true Australians under one banner, removing all racial, ethnic, religious and socioeconomic divisions.
How maybe many Australians really understand Islam? More importantly, when presented with evidence to the contrary, will they still hang onto wrong conceptions? Not if we truly stand for a new and vibrant Nationalism.
A Great Misconception — “Muslim” Equals “Arab”
In light of a major presence of Islam in our Region of Oceania, it is a great misconception to confuse religious affiliation with ethnicity. Only 20% of the World’s Muslim population is Arab, with 61.9% of Muslims living in the Asia-Pacific region. Neither are all Arabs Muslim, with many of them being Christians or other religions.
Various Islamic communities around Australia are comprised of immigrants from as far-flung and diverse origin as as Bosnia, Turkey, Albania, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh.There is even an Islamic Community amongst the Aboriginal people, with historical connection to Indonesian traders in the 16th Century and the Afghani camel drivers in the mid 19th Century (See When Islam Came to Australia).
Anti-Colonial Movements in Oceania
In seeking to assert our Nation’s Independence, we see how Islam has been a profound influence in past anti-colonial movements in our Region. We can look to their heroes as examples of nobility. In future posts, we will explore some of the history of Indonesia in particular.