While there are some local groups promoting understanding between faiths and between Islam and secular Australia, it would not surprise me to hear that the majority of Australians don’t personally know one Muslim Australian.

If this is true, it helps explain why there is so much ‘us and them’ in perceptions on both sides. Muslims make up just over 2% of the Australian population, though our estimates tend to be wildly wrong on this figure.

Opportunities for understanding Islam in Australia do come along from time to time. Two such events are coming, and might be worth checking out: