Posted by: Dawud Israel | February 26, 2009

Really Cool Australian Dawah!

Bismillah, alhamdulillah, wa salat wa salam ala Rasulullah

Wonder what sort of dawah and community events happen in Australia? Surely, it’s no different than Canada, the USA or the UK right? WRONG!
Australia is home to some unheard of, rare, and AWESOME Islamic initiatives and ideas!

Written by Sr. Sana.

The Islamic community of Australia is strong rooted, diverse and ever growing. The history of Australian settlement interaction with Muslims dates back to the introduction of Afghan cameleers in the 1800s who were hired to travel across the Australian outback with their camels. There is also historic evidence to suggest an ancient trading relationship between the Indigenous Australian Aborigines and Muslims from Asia and the Middle East, before the land was colonised.

Anyway, a massive shift in immigration governance in the 1970s, abolishing the ‘white Australia’ policy saw the amount of Australian Muslims rise substantially in the country, notable immigrants from Turkey, Lebanon and Indonesia/Malaysia.

The modern developments of the Muslim community include successfully functioning Islamic welfare organisations which aid troubled Muslims. A recent initiative from the the Mission of Hope organisation is the AMAL, Youth off the streets outreach program. This consists of experienced youth workers getting travelling in a van around the streets of Sydney getting Muslim youth off the streets and facilitating change and stability for their lives.

Australians are culturally recognised as laid back, yet hardworking and loyal. It would be safe for me to say that we are inclusive to others and despite the racist past of our nation, we are definitely making huge developments to break through that and leave it in the past. Many Muslim here embrace their identity, dare to be distinctive, and are appreciated for that. There are the exceptions, and there is the media which hold some biases and constantly maintain sensationalist ideas presented in reporting as well as by our own government in many instances but the reality remains that Muslims are making their lives here work and taking advantage of their democratic rights in this Multicultural country.

Another great achievement for the Muslims of Australia (a demographic which makes up 1.5 of the population)) is the launch on mainstream Australian TV on a program dedicated to ‘Aussie Mozzies’ (an affectionate term coined for Australian Muslims) “Salam Café” which has been a huge success, with it’s cast of high profile Muslim figures in Australia including the Academic couple Waleed Aly and Susan Carland. The show has been a rating winner in it’s time slot and will inshAllah follow on to produce more series.

The city of Sydney has also been a creative hotspot for Muslims and dawah. Lovers of the Arts have started up such events as, ‘Stories in the Park’ which is a mesmeric night in beautiful citronella candlelit gardens where the art of classic Islamic storytelling and poetry take place for the public every Friday night over the Australian Summer.

Sydney Muslims are ever persistent with their projects and social development. The Al Ghazzali centre which was set up as one of the few intensive institutions dedicated to spreading knowledge in the Islamic Sciences in Sydney has made plans to open the Invoke Integrated Café in the heart of the city. This café will act as a state of the art inclusive Dawah café with access to Islamic literature as well as winformed staff in a nice Islamic environment.

The future does look promising for Australian Muslims. There is dysfunctionality and disparities between all Muslim communities in various parts of the world but or brother and sisterhood as an Ummah run deep. It is our obligation to use whatever resources we have and bring the community together.

Subhana kallahumma wa bihamdika ash-haduana la illaha illa ant astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk, Ameen.


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