Muslim women in Australia are at the forefront of a culture war, and t necessarily by choice. As visible representatives of Islam, veiled women face discrimination and abuse, and carry the stigma of a culture frequently deemed unacceptable and inferior. Despite these adverse conditions, Muslim women have demonstrated a remarkable resilience by maintaining their presence in the public domain and by continuing to make a positive contribution to Australia. The experiences of Muslim women in Australia cant be typecast as a sisterhood of oppressed females. Challenging Identities questions the assumption of incompatible 'Australian values' and 'Islamic values', and provides valuable first-person accounts from the lives of Muslim women in Australia.
Professor Shahram Akbarzadeh researches Islam in diaspora and the politics of the Middle East at the National Centre of Excellence for Islamic Studies at the University of Melbourne. His recent publications include US Foreign Policy in the Middle East (with Kylie Baxter, 2008), Islam and Human Rights (with Benjamin MacQueen, 2008), Islam and Political Violence- Muslim Diaspora and Radicalism in the West (with Fethi Mansouri, 2007) and Islam and Globalization (2006).