Embracing footy: the sporting dimensions of Australian Muslim identity in greater Western Sydney

Nasya Yadi Bahfen

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Australia s most popular spectator sport is Aussie Rules football, administered by the Australian Football League (AFL). The 2012 debut of a professional Aussie Rules team for a growing and culturally diverse part of Sydney represents the culmination of efforts by the AFL to make inroads into the rugbyleagueobsessed, poor and predominantly refugee and migrant neighbourhoods on the wrong side of the tracks in Australia s largest city. In the months before the siren sounded on the Greater Western Sydney Giants first game, the researcher produced a longform radio documentary for a religious affairs programme broadcast on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. It discussed how a religiously diverse part of Australia juggles its negative reputation with a growing, strategically important population, which the sport of Aussie Rules is trying to reach out to, but whose identity is wrapped up in the rival football code of rugby league. The documentary s findings are that affiliation with a sport or team is fluid and thought of as a component of Australian Muslim identity; that it reflects attempts by existing power structures to connect with the shifting demographics of the region that is the focus of the documentary; and that it reflects failure or success onfield. (c) 2013 (c) 2013 Taylor Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445 - 457
Number of pages13
JournalIslam and Christian-Muslim Relations
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

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