Muslims make up less than three per cent of the Australian population*, yet dominate the news headlines and are often misunderstood.
In a new SBS documentary, 10 Muslim Australians with vastly different views on their faith live under one roof for eight days to explore what it means to be a Muslim in modern, multicultural Australia.
While the housemates are united in faith, they are divided on what it means to be a ‘good Muslim’.
SBS Director of TV and Online Content Marshall Heald said:
“Muslims Like Us showcases the diverse range of interpretations of Islam that are practised in Australia, with the broader aim of giving Australian audiences a chance to learn more about what it means to be a Muslim today.”
The 10 housemates come from very different backgrounds. Among them are Shia, Sunni and Sufi; Asian, Lebanese, Arab and Aboriginal. Some believe the Quran is the literal word of God and practise Islam in a conservative, traditional way, but others take a more nuanced and modern interpretation of their faith.
There is Bianca, a feminist and boxer whose views contradict those of her family, alongside Husnain who believes in more traditional roles for women and has never cooked for himself or washed his own clothes before, and accepts the concept of a polygamous relationship.
Fahad is a university student who reveals he is gay while in the house in a confronting moment for some, including Hassan, Deputy Principal of an Islamic school, who believes Islam strictly forbids homosexuality.
Anjum refuses to mix with men and wears a full face and body covering niqab, while Mina believes women covering their heads is divisive and unnecessary based on her interpretation of the teachings of the Quran.
Sleeping arrangements, prayers, eating, socialising between members of the opposite sex, terrorism and extremism are some of the topics raised as the 10 housemates explore how their faith impacts their everyday lives.
Topical and important conversation, charged emotional debate and, at times, conflict in the house reveal the immense diversity among people who follow Islam, and the issues which unite and divide Australian Muslims.
Muslims Like Us is produced for SBS by CJZ.
Join the conversation: #MuslimsLikeUs
Muslims Like Us airs over two nights at 8.30pm, February 21 and 22 on SBS
Watch the trailer: