A guide to Muslim diversity
The Australian Muslim Women’s Centre for Human Rights (AMWCHR) is an organisation of Muslim women working to advance the rights and status of Muslim women in Australia. We prioritise practical assistance for women to improve their lives in tangible and measurable ways.
The Australian Muslim community is characterised by diversity and hybridity, and not by a binding vision of Islam or what it means to be Muslim. We are therefore a non-religious organisation reflecting the sectarian, cultural and linguistic diversity within the Muslim community.
In 2013, the Australian Muslim Centre for Human Rights (AMWCHR) received funding to develop the leadership capacity of young people from Muslim minorities, to facilitate the capacity of Muslim minorities to engage with the Muslim majority community in Victoria and create an opportunity for dialogue between young people from different communities.
The project was developed in the context of the Syrian civil conflict and its increasing impact on the welfare of Australian Muslim youth. Following a small number of threats and minor incidents, the AMWCHR and community leaders formed a working group to address the rise in tensions and develop strategies for maintaining community goodwill and safety. From this working group, this project was developed.
This publication focuses only on the Alawite and the Alevi traditions because the conflict in Syria, and now in Iraq and Kurdish territories, has brought these communities to our attention in Australia. Most services in Australia, however, have very little understanding of these communities’ traditions. This guide seeks to fill this gap by providing a very basic introduction to these groups.
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