Australia’s leading newspaper, The Australian (29/10/2007:1-2) reported that a Sydney Muslim leader, Fadi Rahman, warned that there could be a possible terror strike or a “London-type bombing” in Australia. This was because some Muslims did not trust the Australian Federal Police since they had bungled a terrorist case against the Gold Coast, Queensland doctor Mohammad Haneef. On 2 July 2007 the Indian-born physician, Mohammad Haneef, was arrested and held in detention without charges and without the right to seek bail for two weeks. Haneef was alleged to have had a terrorist link with his cousin Kafeel Ahmed who had attempted to blow up the Glasgow airport in the United Kingdom. The Lebanese-born Fadi Rahman ran a youth centre in south-west Sydney which was attended by 460 members (mostly of Lebanese background) aged 10-35, and some of them were “at risk”, and former criminals. So did the threat of a “London-style bombing” come from a small section of Muslims or was it widespread throughout the community? Did the concept of a globalised Islam pose an imaginary or a real threat? Or was it just an umma (Islamic community) feeling for fellow Muslims? In this paper, I will examine the interviews of 44 Muslim students in Melbourne that I conducted during the period of the Haneef ordeal (July 2007). I will explore the question whether in spite of their cultural diversity they felt connected to the Haneef case, or if they have related something else to their identity. I will also identify the factors that could possibly establish fellow feeling among Muslim youths of diverse backgrounds. Finally, I will question why the participants of this study were peaceful, and just wanted to have a voice through my work. This paper mainly relies on oral testimonies.
|Keywords:||Youth, Identity, Globalisation, Islam, Media, Security|
Research Fellow, School of Communications and Contemporary Arts, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
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