Debunking negative representations of Muslim minorities to overcome the binary between white Australia and minorities

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Global waves of anti-migrant and anti-Muslim discourses have swept across the world in 2016. Australia has not been exempted from these global waves. After a decade of absence in politics, Pauline Hanson, who is known for her anti-Asian migrant propaganda in the 1990s, has made a come-back to politics and is promoting anti-Muslim migrant discourses. And a well-know TV presenter, Sonia Kruger, has called on morning television for Australia to ban Muslim migrants. These anti-Muslim migrant discourses, however, are not new to Australia at all. Such discourses have been reproduced since the Gulf War in 1990 and repeatedly appeared in Australian society. And a far worse recent Muslim backlash occurred in fact in 2014, right around the time of the rise of ISIS, when Australia was under the Abbot government. This anti-Muslim backlash has recreated the border between Australian Muslims and non-Muslims. This article is an attempt to tackle this binary structure in Australia. Gassan Hage successfully demonstrates in White Nation that negative discourses about migrants are created to enable Australian White Nationalism to keep functioning and justified. Although Hage's concept of White Nation is still the most convincing explanation about the mechanism of a particular form of Australian nationalism, its implications contribute to create the binary between White Australia and migrants, in particular, Australian Muslim migrants, in recent years. This article therefore sets out to ask whether these nega- tive images about Australian Muslims - the very ground of this binary - are true or not, by critically investigating negative images about Muslims in Australia by deploying statistics and existing research findings. By doing so, it also aims to suggest a feasible and practicable approach of articulating migrants' voices from where they stand in Australian society. Firstly this article will detail the recent Anti-Muslim-backlash in 2014, and secondly it will trace back a history of anti-Muslim discourses demonstrated in Australia over the 13 years of the war to identify negative images created in the past. Then it will investigate popularly consumed negative images about Australian Muslims by using statistics and existing research. The concluding remarks will introduce recent new trends in articulating migrants' own voices, and suggests that these trends are a clue for how migrants can resist negative representations of them in Australia.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)17-36
    JournalOsutoraria kenkyu kiyo (Otemon journal of Australian studies)
    Volume30
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

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