Islam in Australia-Indonesia Relations: Fears, Stereotypes and Opportunity

Greg Fealy

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    In a 2016 survey of Australian and Indonesian attitudes to each other’s countries, respondents were asked to select which words best described the other country. By far the most frequently chosen word for Australian respondents was ‘religious’ (68%) . Accompanying focus group discussions established that by ‘religious’, what was really being referred to was Islam, and overwhelmingly the impression was negative, with many discussants mentioning associations with the Middle East and terrorism (Australia-Indonesia Centre and Sweeney 2016) . Another report on historical survey data regarding Australian-Indonesian relations similarly found that, Islam, along with communism, has often generated unfavourable opinions of Indonesia among Australians (Sobocinska 2016) . Australia-Indonesia relations, it is often said, are more defined by differences than by similarities. If this is true (and there are grounds for debating it) , then the greatest difference of all between the two countries is that of religion.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationStrangers Next Door?
    EditorsTim Lindset and Dave McRae
    Place of PublicationOregon
    PublisherHart Publishing
    ISBN (Print)978-1-50991-816-4
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


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