Indigenous Australians and Islam : spiritual, cultural, and political alliances

Lawson, David Edward (2010) Indigenous Australians and Islam : spiritual, cultural, and political alliances. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


This thesis examines why and how Indigenous Australians convert to Islam in the New South Wales suburbs of Redfern and Lakemba. It is argued that conventional religious conversion theories inadequately account for religious change in the circumstances outlined in this study. The aim of the thesis is to apply a sociological-historical methodology to document and analyse both Indigenous and Islamic pathways eventuating in Indigenous Islamic alliances. All of the Indigenous men interviewed for this research have had contact with Islam either while incarcerated or involved with the criminal justice system. The consequences of these alliances for the Indigenous men constitute the contribution the study makes to new knowledge. The study employs a socio-historical and sociological focus to account for the underlying issues by a literature review followed by an ethnographic participant observation methodology. In-depth open-ended interviews with key informants provided the rich qualitative data to compliment literature review findings. For the Indigenous people involved in this study, Islamic religious identity combined with resistance politics formed a significant empowering framework. For them it is a symbolic representation of anti-colonialism and the enduring scourge of social dysfunction in some Indigenous communities.

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ID Code: 41738
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Adibi, Hossein & Trocki, Carl
Keywords: Indigenous Australians, Islam in Australia, Muslims, religious conversion, discrimination, resistance politics, empowerment
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 19 May 2011 02:13
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2017 14:43

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