Sharia: the great divide. “Alcohol creates ‘barrier’ for Muslims,” from The Age, October: 10
Alcohol, food and gender relations are the key barriers to social interaction between Muslim and non-Muslim Australians, a study suggests.
The findings emerged from a study commissioned by the federal government to develop better community-based integration programs.
The project focused on Muslims who have experienced racism since the 2005 Cronulla riots.
To determine social barriers, researchers interviewed a group of 10 Muslims who socialise predominantly with other Muslims. They also spoke to 10 non-Muslims from the Cronulla area who did not mix with Muslims.
Among the non-Muslims, it was not well-known that drinking alcohol is forbidden under Islam.
The concept of halal – denoting what is permissible under Islam – was also little understood.
Female Muslim interviewees said they could not understand how drinking by non-Muslims can be seen as responsible behaviour.
Their male counterparts said they would refuse invitations to events where alcohol was consumed to shield the women from it…