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.


Session 2 (60)
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 critically analyse 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; and
  • 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 Western fiction, media and academia
  • Radical Islam and Islamophobia and their antidotes
  • Australian Muslim identity and culture

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of ISL453 in Session 2 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Presentation: thematic analysis
Research essay

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.