And the Challenges of Political Engagement and National Belonging in Multicultural, Western Cities
This is an Australian Research Council funded project being conducted by researchers at the Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University, Australia, and City University of New York (CUNY), United States.
The aim of the project is to understand the role that Islamic religious beliefs, rituals and faith-based community practices play in shaping experiences of belonging and citizenship in multicultural, western cities. In particular, the project aims to develop an understanding of the extent to which the emotional and spiritual aspects of Islamic religious practices encourage feelings of openness toward others and foster forms of civic and political engagement in multicultural cities.
The research will be conducted with Muslim community members in three western cities/nations: Melbourne, Australia; Detroit, USA and in France. Approximately 100 people in each city/nation will be asked to take part in face-to-face or online surveys which will identify what faith based, spiritual and cultural practices Muslims engage in, how often they engage in these activities, in what places they participate in these activities and the feelings they experience in these places. 5 focus groups (of 10-15 participants) and 50 individual interviews will also be conducted in each of the three cities to explore these themes in more depth, and to ascertain whether these practices contribute to feelings of national and local belonging, and/or encourage forms of civic and political engagement. Read more about the project here.