Original Research: Historical Thought and Source Interpretation

Dealing with Islamophobia: Expanding religious engagement to civic engagement among the Indonesian Muslim community in Australia

Agus Ahmad Safei, Mukti Ali, Emma Himayaturohmah
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 78, No 4 | a7353 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v78i4.7353 | © 2022 Agus Ahmad Safei, Mukti Ali, Emma Himayaturohmah | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 January 2022 | Published: 14 April 2022

About the author(s)

Agus Ahmad Safei, Department of Islamic Community Development, Faculty of Da’wa and Communication, Universitas Islam Negeri Sunan Gunung Djati, Bandung, Indonesia
Mukti Ali, Department of Islamic Communication and Broadcasting, Faculty of Da’wa, Institut Agama Islam Negeri Salatiga, Salatiga City, Indonesia
Emma Himayaturohmah, Research and Development and Training Agency, Ministry of Religion, Indonesia


The increasing Islamophobia in the Western world is worsened not only by global political issues but also by the stance of Muslims, who are perceived as exclusive and ethnocentric, particularly in the Australian context. This article outlines the strategies used by Indonesian Muslims in Australia to deal with the Islamophobic discourse, namely enhancing religious engagement to enhance solidarity and social cohesion between them and increasing civic engagement as an assimilation attempt with Australians. Religious engagement is carried out through enhancing Islamic lecture activities to promote a more moderate and open understanding of Islam. Meanwhile, civic engagement activities included increasing social involvement as a form of community service, collaborating more with other communities as a form of collective action, jointly proposing political policies as a form of political involvement, and working with Australians to create a better future as manifestations of civic engagement in the context of social change.

Contribution: Although Islamophobia is mostly a political issue, the Indonesian Muslim community in Australia views it as a chance to open up and demonstrate to the Australian community that they can work together in a broader kind of civic engagement.


Islamophobia; Muslim community; Indonesian Muslim community of Victoria (IMCV); religious engagement; civic engagement


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