This project aimed to bring together a group of 8 – 10 Muslim young people to work collaboratively developing a website that delivered a positive progressive narrative on Muslim Australian identity, as well as address misconceptions about what it means to be a Muslim-Australian. The photographic, video and media content developed as part of this project empowers Muslim youth in sharing their stories and those of individuals in their community.

Presently, Muslim youth have limited opportunities to get their voices heard. This project enabled them to take control of the narrative on Islam in Australia. It will celebrate the diversity within the Muslim Australian population and challenge the notion that Muslims are a monolithic group.

Muslim youth living in Australia are directly impacted by the current negative discourse and have a direct interest in changing the narrative on Muslims to more accurately reflect their understanding of Islam. Young Muslims raised in Australia see no conflict in their identity as Muslim Australians and would like to share their perspectives with the world. This makes them ideally placed to develop and propagate positive narratives using online approaches. Muslim Collective developed this project to help young Muslims find their voice in the media and public discourse, and to empower them to challenge the negative stereotypes that are impacting their identity.

Ambreen (Pakistani/Australian):

Being a Muslim to me means having a constant sense of gratitude, as well as striving for a world which is fair and just and equitable. Not just for issues that affect you personally, but standing up for the rights of others as well.

Sara: (Indonesian)

I’m from Indonesia. Being a Muslim means being able to accept anybody, your brothers your sisters form any background. And being able to accept them. WE try to embrace them, we don’t push them away, we give them equal access to everything that people who are usually privileged usually get.

Azwan (Malaysian):

Being Muslim means … humans, we are not perfect but what we can do is act really nice to each other… its how you want people to treat you and it’s how you will treat them back. So if you treat them badly or wrongly you do not expect them to treat you nicely. And of course being Muslim is when Rasul Allah treat everyone nicely, even his enemies. So to me being a Muslim is to create a world peace and a nicer world. Being grateful for where we are today…. Our religion tough us to be kind, not only to people but to animals and objects.. that’s what I’ve been taught from my religion and how it is.. without it I don’t feel I would be that way. I always believe as being human we need to be kind and treat each other nicely. I can relate this to a sense when I got my first job it wasn’t easy, I got harassed by my bosses, and I complained to my mum for a month… and my mum told me, “Azwan, whatever it is you are facing in this world, just do it for Allah and make the best of the worst of any situation.”

Dewi (Indonesia):

Being a Muslim is still having fun, still doing what I’m doing. I have seven children but I’m still travelling around the world taking my children one at a time. I’m doing what Muslims should do, I am wearing hijab, bu I still can have fun and I scan still have a life. Going out seeing people meeting new people. Being a Muslim is a very beautiful faith and religion which they can love their ALllah and show how Allah loves them that’s why they have fun in this life, not only doing the prayer but also travelling, travelling is what brings themt o appreciate what Allah gives.

Dania (Jordanian):

It’s all about love. It’s about love for one another, love for the environment we live in. Love for God and respect for all the above and living in peace and harmony in a just world.

Matt (Egyptian/Australian):

I’m a Melbournian, I come originally from Egypt. Being a Muslim means about belonging and originality. It’s more like an identity. It’s something that you can not leave and something that can not be left behind. It’s something that you can embrace. It’s about striving of being nice and being good to people and others.

Shakira (Malaysia) :

For me, being Muslim is about believing in one God that creates all of this, it’s about being nice to each other, following prophet Muhammad’s Sunnah. It’s all about being modest, faithful, nice, all of those good qualities. If you’re really a religious Muslim but your shitty to other people you’re not a good Muslim.

Rez (Indonesia):

I think being a Muslim is about the mindset, about the lifestyle, about being nice to your neighbours, loving your parents and seeing everyone as the beautiful individual they are.

Jeromy Rashid (French):

Being a Muslim for me means believing in God and his messenger Mohammad Peace be upon Him. And it’s also about trying to work on a daily basis to improve on my bad traits. It’s also about being a good husband, a good father, a good son and trying to live in harmony with humanity and respecting all people and all religions of all walks of life.

Zahirah (Malaysian/Australian)

Having faith and believing that we are all here by the grace of the one creator and living life to the fullest according to the tenants of compassion and inclusivity.
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Muslim Collective is an incorporated organisation, formerly Muslims for Progressive Values Australia. ABN 61 544 051 082
Muslim Collective acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the true custodians of the lands and waters where we live, learn and work.
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