ISL453 Muslims in the West: Identity and Culture (8)

This subject discusses the various perspectives that Islam and Muslim minorities encounter in Western society. It covers the historical, social, and political development and transformation of Muslims living in the West. Students will critically analyse and examine the related issues of identity, integration and social cohesion, and analyse critically the changing dynamics of the West, and how Muslims living in the West are affected by these changes. The European, North American, and Australian contexts will also be considered.

Subject Outlines
Current CSU students can view Subject Outlines for recent sessions. Please note that Subject Outlines and assessment tasks are updated each session.


Session 2 (60)
United Theological College
Session 3 (90)
United Theological College

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: ISL453. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisation

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of the contemporary dynamics of multicultural western communities where Islam and Muslims live
  • be able to analyse critically the varying motives, struggles and challenges of both the immigrant and host societies in the development of a multicultural society which is respectful of diverse perspectives
  • be able to analyse and assess critically the mediation efforts between Muslims and the West and their consequences for a peaceful society
  • be able to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of diverse perspectives concerning the reality of Muslims in the West, and develop means and processes of living together in a truly multicultural society
  • be able to examine critically the consequences of divisionism (e.g. Islamic radicalism and Islamophobia) in multicultural societies and discuss preventative measures to build social cohesion in Australian multicultural and multifaith communities


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Introduction: unpacking the concepts of identity, West, Islam and Muslim and their backdrop in the West
  • History of Muslim-West encounters
  • Sociology of Muslim-West encounters: ethnicity, nationalism, assimilation and integration
  • Politics of Muslim-West encounters: multiculturalism, social cohesion, citizenship and multicultural citizenship
  • Muslims in which West: European, American and Australian experiences
  • 1st, 2nd and 3rd generations: culture, identity and belonging
  • Changing roles and identities: Muslim women, men and converts in the West
  • Transnational movements in the West
  • Islamic organisations and leadership
  • Islam in the Western fiction, media and academia
  • Radical Islam and Islamophobia and their antidotes
  • Australian Muslim identity and culture

Residential School

This subject contains a 2 day Optional Residential School.

The purpose of the residential school is to provide an opportunity for exploration of the coursework covered and assessment of student learning. In addition to content review, this part of the course aims to facilitate an interactive session between the teaching academics, students and sections of the Islamic community.


Current Students

For any enquiries about subject selection or course structure please contact Student Central or or phone on 1800 275 278.

Prospective Students

For further information about Charles Sturt University, or this course offering, please contact info.csu on 1800 275 278 (free call within Australia) or enquire online.

The information contained in the 2018 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: August 2018. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.