Secularism, Society, and Symbols of Religion: Bosnian Muslim Australians Encounter Christmas

  • Lejla VoloderEmail author


In recent years, the presence and ‘visibility’ of Muslims in Australia has become particularly pronounced. Often this issue has centred on the problematic positioning of Muslims in the secular state. Such discourse, however, has neglected to critique the presence and visibility of other forms of religious identification in Australia, and thus leaves the normative role and presence of Christianity in formulations of an Australian multicultural secular society unexamined. In this chapter, I discuss how Bosnian Muslims confront and engage with these differential forms of religious visibility and how such tensions inform their experiences of secular belonging in Australia. Drawing on this ethnographic material, I argue that debates and definitions of ‘visible’ and ‘invisible’ religious identification in a secular state are political acts which work to demarcate and contest the bounds of national and social inclusion.


Visibility of Muslim Australians Bosnian Muslims religious identification Australian multicultural society differential forms of religion 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Political and Social Inquiry, Faculty of ArtsMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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