Overcoming challenges in peacebuilding and dialogue: The case study of affinity intercultural foundation's outreach strategies in Australia

Mehmet Ozalp, Tamana Daqiq

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)

Abstract

Faced with the seemingly endless diastole-systole cycle of radicalism and Islamophobia, peacebuilding and harmony-construction through dialogue pose an arduous challenge in the West. It requires a special type of leadership characterised by a theology of dialogue, a practice of dialogue and the spirit of service dedicated to the dialogue enterprise in the long haul. Inevitably, there are challenges that confront leading Islamic organisations engaged in peacebuilding and harmony-construction in Western societies. There are five main challenges — objection to dialogue initiatives by certain Muslim circles; radical and extreme behaviour of a minority of Muslims within Western societies; Islamophobic circles within the non-Muslim society; a media ready to sensationalise stories of conflict; and a lack of resources and support for organisations dedicated to peacebuilding. Australian Muslims established the Affinity Intercultural Foundation, which devised and implemented groundbreaking outreach strategies addressing these challenges. Affinity’s experience shows how moderate Muslims in Western societies experience these challenges, and how it has become a role model in leading the Australian Muslim community with an alternative response to the Islam/West tensions caused by events in a post-9/11 world.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIslam and peacebuilding in the Asia-Pacific
Editors Mohamed Nawab, Mohamed Osman
Place of PublicationNew Jersey, USA
PublisherWorld Scientific Publishing
Chapter5
Pages87-111
Edition1st
ISBN (Print)9789814749824, 9789814749817
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017

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    Ozalp, M., & Daqiq, T. (2017). Overcoming challenges in peacebuilding and dialogue: The case study of affinity intercultural foundation's outreach strategies in Australia. In M. Nawab, & M. Osman (Eds.), Islam and peacebuilding in the Asia-Pacific (1st ed., pp. 87-111). World Scientific Publishing.