In the last century, it is well recognized that Australia in the post-war period has received an impressive diversity of immigrants from a multitude of nations. People from all over the globe have settled onto Australian shores bringing with them, their life experiences. Due to these facts, Australia is known to be a multicultural society; very diverse in ethnicity, culture, age, gender, race and class. Religion has been one important variety which immigrants have brought with them; however it has been very evident through my own findings, that religion is less widely part of research and informed discussion. As described by Bouma, G. (Mosques and Muslim Settlement in Australia, pp.iii, 1994) the role of religion in settlement, and the experiences of those professing a faith different from the majority of other members of Australian society, is relatively neglected in literature and immigration research.
Bouma G. shows that nearly 1percent of the Australian population indicates Islam as their religion.
As part of my report, I have chosen to focus on religion, Islam in particular, and using local examples I will discuss how decision-makers work with communities in relation to religion, and provide examples where the values of different community groups living in the same area have come into conflict.
Whilst trying to gather relevant information on this topic of religion, and Islam in particular, it was very interesting to find that there was very little information or content relevant to this topic in the local councils policies or files. Although many of its planning permits regarding sensitive religious issues such as Muslims being able to access mosques at very early times during Ramadan are catered for, there is no real process in which such situations are dealt through.
When asked, if there were any objections to the proposal of a mosque...