The construction of national and religious identities amongst Australian Isma’ili Muslims

Mitha, K., Adatia, S. and Jaspal, R. (2020) The construction of national and religious identities amongst Australian Isma’ili Muslims. Social Identities, 26(6), pp. 791-810. (doi: 10.1080/13504630.2020.1814718)

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Australian civic society has become increasingly multicultural and diverse. Nevertheless, in the current political climate, Australian Muslims may feel as though they live under a microscope of scrutiny with their sense of affiliation and allegiance questioned. The narrative regarding Muslims in Australia has largely focused on Sunnis and ethnic Arabs. This qualitative study examines the Australian Shi’a Isma’ili Muslim community – a minority within a minority – and how attachment to supraordinate identity markers of ‘Muslim’ and ‘Australian’ influence their identity construction. It utilised semi-structured interviews with 16 first- and second-generation Isma’ili Muslims to examine the intersection of national, religious, and cultural identities via the lens of Identity Process Theory (IPT). Religious identity was important to respondents, who spoke of how their ‘double minority’ status distinguished them vis-à-vis the broader Muslim community in Australia and Australian society overall. Nevertheless, respondents noted a strong sense of instrumental attachment to Australia which enabled them to develop a distinct niche of Isma’ili Muslim identity unique to the Australian landscape.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mitha, Karim
Authors: Mitha, K., Adatia, S., and Jaspal, R.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:Social Identities
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN (Online):1363-0296
Published Online:06 October 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
First Published:First published in Social Identities 26(6): 791-810
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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