Journal article

Baseline knowledge of Islam and Muslims: a study of Australian government crisis communication officials

Journal
Emergency management Public sector Religion Australia
Description

This study examined the level of knowledge Australian crisis communications officials had about Islam and Muslims. It did so at a time when the Commonwealth Government has warned in the current national security environment that a terrorist attack could be experienced at any time, and where the most serious threat emanated from those holding what the government described as a “deviant” view of Islam. The study identified that Media Liaison Officers (n=72) have low levels of knowledge about this religious faith, and that they were aware of their lack of understanding. These findings raise policy concerns about the extent to which Media Liaison Officers can differentiate between Islam and deviant interpretations of the faith. With the pivotal role that Media Liaison Officers play in crisis communication—including briefing and educating journalists when a terrorist event occurs—these findings present crisis managers with several challenges; including recruitment, training, and ongoing professional development.

Publication Details
Volume:
5
ISSN:

2202-5677

Issue:
4
Pagination:
16-35