Islam is often depicted as a source of radicalisation and disengagement. However, we conducted research in Melbourne and found the opposite: Islamic religiosity is a strong predictor of active citizenship. The article has been published in the Journal of Sociology: you can find it here.
Specifically, the more Muslims from Melbourne are involved in religious activities (i.e. Friday prayers, Qur’an reading groups, religious events), the more involved they are in associations such as charity organizations, environmental groups, art and cultural clubs. Also, being involved in Islamic religious activities is associated with attributing stronger significance in volunteering.
We think that this article is particularly important because it shows that organized Islamic groups can act as a civic engagement incubator, enhancing social cohesion and contributing to create a society that is resilient to extremism.
The co-authors of the article are Amelia Johns, Michele Lobo and Fethi Mansouri.