A History of Muslims in the Australian Military from 1885 to 1945: Loyalty, Patriotism, Contribution

Dr Dzavid HavericDr Dzavid Haveric has authored an essential book about Australian Muslims and their descendants in the Australian Military, thus filling an important gap in not only military history of Australia, but also the history of those who settled here, called Australia home, and served in the armed forces. It is a remarkable document of their loyalty, patriotism and contribution in many theaters of war. This book is at the forefront of a new chapter in Australian military history. It is a fascinating collection of many unique social-military stories that record Muslim involvement in Australian military forces from the Sudan and Boer wars to the Great War and Second World War.


A great contribution to our history: “A History of Muslims in the Australian Military from 1885 to 1945: Loyalty, Patriotism, Contribution”

Australian Muslims and their descendants can rightfully take their place among the many “human pillars” who have upheld and defended Australia’s freedom, integrity and democracy. This is especially reflected in the military service they have rendered, securing their place in the nation’s epic. However, their contributions to the Australian military forces are largely unknown, unlike accounts written about Muslims in the British and Indian armies plus other Allied armies.

For the first time in Australia’s history this book about Australian Muslims and their descendants in the Australian Military is revealed. It is a remarkable document of their loyalty, patriotism and contribution in many theaters of war. This book is at the forefront of a new chapter in Australian military history. It is a fascinating collection of many unique social-military stories that record Muslim involvement in Australian military forces from the Sudan and Boer wars to the Great War and Second World War. It demonstrates that Australian Muslims and their descendants from many ethnicities, races, sects and cultures took part with Australian non-Muslims in fighting for the common cause during times of national significance. The book reveals many unknown historical facts about Muslim involvement in the colonial forces, Australian Army, Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Australian Navy, and Merchant Navy. Thoroughly researched and comprehensively written from a Muslim and multicultural angle, the book is a Muslim narrative of a broader Anzac story in which Australian Muslims and their descendants put Australia ahead of individual cultural and religious considerations.

From the Foreword:
“All those who appreciate the complexity of the social composition of Australia’s defence services have reason to appreciate Dr Haveric’s heroic research in illuminating this aspect of Australian military and social history.”
Peter Stanley Honorary Professor, the University of New South Wales

“This book opens a new chapter for Australian history. It documents something unknown – indeed, something regarded as impossible: the service of numerous Muslims and their descendants within our military forces prior to 1945. This explodes the myth that Muslims could not fight against Muslims in defence of Australia. Haveric makes this point by referencing Muslim jurisprudential principles, but most of all by offering tangible examples: detailed biographies of scores of servicemen and women ignored by most war histories. Some were sergeants and warrant officers, and (in their civilian lives) well-known doctors and politicians. What is staggering is that these figures began to appear much sooner than one expects: beginning in 1815, when Oodeen, an Ambonese Muslim, became Constable for the Great Domain. Haveric relies on extensive archival research, and accounts he arduously collected from families of numerous Muslim ethnicities across Australia. He demonstrates the unflinching loyalty and sacrifice of Muslims dedicated to their new homeland. Their determination to serve is all the more remarkable given the bigotry and ignorance Muslims faced from the admissions system. Haveric offers humorous anecdotes evidencing the challenges this posed. He also explains general contexts, and changes in defence policies towards Muslim Australians between the 19th Century, World War 1 and World War 2. This succinct volume is a remarkable achievement. It will help shift many false narratives concerning the ‘clash of civilisations’.”
Dr Ray Kerkhove Associate Professor with the School of Education, University of Southern Queensland, Australia

“Respected scholar and academician Dr Dzavid Haveric, who has conducted the most extensive and profound study on the presence of Muslims in Australia, continues to open new horizons for both Muslims who are unaware of their history in Australia and the wider society with his breathtaking new study. This study is a remarkable piece of scholarly work. In this book, Dr. Haveric demonstrates meticulous research and academic rigor, utilizing a fluent and scholarly language while exploring the broader history of Australia and the specific history of Muslims on the continent. Throughout this valuable work, Dr. Haveric provides readers with a comprehensive view of the Muslims who participated in these wars on behalf of Australia’s land, air, and naval forces. He not only offers insight into their diverse ethnic backgrounds and theological school differences but also provides a masterful account of the loyal contributions of Anzac Muslims to their new country during both well-known and lesser-known wars. The book goes beyond military history to address critical issues, such as Muslims fighting for a non-Muslim country, the role of religious leaders (imams) in facilitating the religious duties of Muslim soldiers in the Australian army, and the interfaith dimension of the wars that brought together Muslim and non-Muslim Australians. These aspects contribute significantly to the broader understanding of the social and cultural dynamics at play during these periods. In subsequent chapters, Dr. Haveric delves into the generational nuances of Muslims’ sense of belonging and loyalty, particularly highlighting how Muslim soldiers, especially during and after the Second World War, adopted Australia as their homeland and made substantial sacrifices to defend it. I extend my heartfelt congratulations to Dr. Haveric for his meticulous research and for filling a significant gap in Australian history. This work not only enriches our understanding of Australia’s history, but also highlights the enduring contributions of Muslim communities to the nation.”
Ismail Albayrak Professorial Fellow, Faculty of Theology and Philosophy, Australian Catholic University

 

A History of Muslims in the Australian Military from 1885 to 1945:Loyalty, Patriotism, Contribution

 


 

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