Attitudes of Interfaith Students in the West

Educational Insights from Australia, New Zealand and Germany

Author:
The meaning of being Muslim has undergone enormous changes in the aftermath of the bombings in New York in 2001. The initial reaction of media outlets was to portray them as a global threat. In social-cultural and political context, they were thought to be unable to fit into Western societies. For example, in a major survey, over half of Australians preferred that their relatives not to marry into a Muslim family.

This book examines the extent to which falsehoods relate attitudes and perceptions of young Muslim and Western students in German, Australian and New Zealand educational institutions to each other. It also addresses the views, pressures, unconscious biases, presumptions and expectations, social cultural and religious influences that drive the relationship between the two communities.

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Abe W. Ata, PhD (1980), is Adjunct Professor at both La Trobe and Victoria universities. He has published 21 monographs, 37 entries in three encyclopedias, and 153 journal articles.
Acknowledgements
List of Figures and Tables
Notes on Contributors

1 Cross-Cultural Attitudes in Education: Majority-Minority Students in Australia and Germany
Abe W. Ata
 1 Religious Diversity, Education, and Prejudice
 2 Knowledge, Attitudes and False Beliefs in Education
 3 Examining the Resentments and Grievances of the Australian Muslim Community
 4 Examining the Resentments and Grievances of the Dominant Australian Community
 5 Fostering Race-Related Dialogue in Education between the Two Groups
 6 Methodology and Analysis

PART 1: Knowledge, False Beliefs and Cross-Cultural Attitudes



2 Knowledge, False Beliefs and Fact-Driven Perceptions of Muslims in Australian High Schools
Abe W. Ata
 1 Introduction
 2 Method
 3 Findings
 4 Perception of Islam
 5 Discussion
 6 Conclusions

3 Knowledge, False Beliefs, and Information Processing Perception of Australia by Muslim High School Students
Abe W. Ata
 1 Introduction
 2 Companion Study of Non-Muslim Students
 3 Survey Method and Sample Characteristics
 4 Overall Results
 5 Words and Images Which the Word “Australian” Triggers in the Mind of Participants
 6 Discussion and Findings
 7 Conclusions

4 Reaction Mixture of Perception and Attitudes of Tertiary Educated Muslim Students to Mainstream Australian Community
Abe W. Ata and David Teh
 1 Introduction
 2 Originality and Relevance of the Survey
 3 Survey Method and Sample Characteristics
 4 Findings
 5 Knowledge about Christianity
 6 Educational Influences on Interfaith Relations
 7 Conclusions

PART 2: Intergroup Relations, Social Distance and Religious Bias



5 Perception of the “Other” in Catholic Schools in Australia: A National Survey
Abe W. Ata
 1 Introduction
 2 Survey Method
 3 Characteristics of Participating Schools
 4 Conclusions

6 Differentiating Effects of Social Distance and Intergroup Contact: German University Students’ Views on Islam and Muslims
Abe W. Ata and Klaus Baumann
 1 Introduction
 2 Definitions and Background Perspectives
 3 Survey Method and Sample Characteristics
 4 Results and Discussion
 5 Conclusions

7 Commixture Effects of Community Norms, Knowledge, and Friendship on Social Distance/Intergroup Relations with Muslims in the Wake of the Christchurch Terrorist Attacks
Abe W. Ata and David Teh
 1 Background Perspectives—the Case of New Zealand
 2 Survey Method, Data Analysis, and Sample Characteristics
 3 Statistical Computations and Data Analysis
 4 Results and Discussion
 5 Conclusions

PART 3: Religious Affiliation, Gender Differences, and Integration



8 Do Muslim-Australian Tertiary Students View Their Own Values to be Compatible with Those Held by the Dominant/Mainstream Society!
Abe W. Ata
 1 Originality and Relevance of the Survey
 2 Survey Method and Sample Characteristics
 3 Conclusions

9 Cultural, Gender and Religious Predictors of Perception of Muslims at Tertiary Institutions
Abe W. Ata
 1 Method Originality and Relevance of the Survey
 2 Survey Method and Sample Characteristics
 3 Results and Discussion
 4 Conclusions

10 Knowledge, False Beliefs and Fact Driven Perceptions of Muslims in German Universities
Abe W. Ata and Klaus Baumann
 1 Introduction
 2 Survey Method and Sample Characteristics
 3 Discussion
 4 Conclusions

PART 4: Social Cohesion, Stereotyping, and Inclusivity



11 Psychological and Social Distance of School-Age Non-Muslim Australians towards Muslims and Islam
Abe W. Ata
 1 Methods
 2 Results
 3 Discussion and Conclusions

12 How Do Students in Islamic Schools Perceive Their Values as Compatible with the Broader Australian Community: A National Survey
Abe W. Ata
 1 Survey Method and Sample Characteristics
 2 Findings and Discussion
 3 Overall Results

13 Conclusions
Abe W. Ata
 1 Part 1: Knowledge, False Beliefs and Cross-Cultural Attitudes
 2 Part 2: Intergroup Relations, Social Distance and Religious Bias
 3 Part 3: Religious Affiliation, Gender Differences and Social Harmony
 4 Part 4: Social-Psychological Distance, Stereotyping, and Inclusivity

References
Index
This book will interest researchers in the field of international education. It will appeal to libraries, lecturers, teachers, higher education students and those actively conducting reserach in international education, multicultural studies, Islamic studies, and religious education.
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