The 2Rs – Respect and Responsibility: The Case of Australian Muslim Girls

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Nahid Afrose Kabir


The citizenship debate involves respect and responsibility. In this paper I discuss the case of Australian Muslims girls who in their home environment respect the family values and carry out certain responsibilities assigned to them. In the wider society, they attend schools, do part-time jobs and obey the values of the institutions. However, I question in this paper, whether the family and the wider society are fulfilling their responsibility towards these girls.
I discuss the interview responses of 39 Muslim girls (15-18 years) living in Sydney and Perth. I examine pertinent cases within the framework of relevant academic literature, and argue within the social, religious and cultural context. The issues within the family domain are inter-twined within Islamic religious-cultural arguments, whereas the issues in the public domain are argued on cultural conflict between the Muslims and the wider society. With both arguments I show how some Muslim girls negotiate their identity, and suggest their bicultural identity is assisting them to keep a positive attitude in their everyday life.

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Articles (refereed)
Author Biography

Nahid Afrose Kabir, Edith Cowan University

Dr Nahid Afrose Kabir is a research fellow at the Centre for Applied Social Marketing Research at Edith Cowan University, Perth, Western Australia. Currently, she is a visiting fellow at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University, USA. Dr Kabir is the author of Muslims in Australia (London: Routledge 2005)