The second annual National Mosque Open Day took place on Saturday October 28th, at a number of cities across Australia. National Mosque Open Day, a Lebanese Muslim Association (LMA) initiative supported by the Department of Social Services, is an Australia-wide event which sees mosques around the country opening their doors to the public, promoting cohesion within communities and clarifying misconceptions.
Yesterday (Saturday), a number of Australian mosques across each state extended an invitation to the wider public to come and find out what a mosque is, and what Islam and Muslims are really like. Samier Dandan, President of the Lebanese Muslim Association, earlier said, “With even more mosques taking part in the event this year, we plan to build on last year’s success and host an even greater number of ordinary Australians at their nearest participating mosque. I would personally like to invite all members of the public to take this extraordinary and welcoming step in finding and visiting their nearest participating mosque.”
At each participating mosque, visitors will find a different and unique experience, from barbecues, to traditional foods, and from jumping castles for children to open question-and-answer forums with local religious elders for adults. Samier Dandan continued, saying, “A national initiative such as this could not come at a more apt time. In light of recent events, at home and abroad, it is imperative that people, whether they are simply curious or have some serious questions, take this opportunity to enter a mosque and find out for themselves what the reality actually is.”
The Lebanese Muslim Association also made the following plea to the community: National Mosque Open Day is part of the second National Day of Unity, launched this year at Parliament House on October 13th by the Prime Minister, Opposition Leader and Leader of the Greens. As part of this National Day on October 31st, all Australians are encouraged to contribute to greater harmony in society.
In Toowoomba, the Garden City Mosque on 217 West St was opened to the public from 11am to 2pm “with food, fun and friendship”.
Hon Member of Ipswich West, Mr Jim Madden MP represented Hon Grace Grace, Minister of Multicultural Affairs of Queensland. Prof Shahjahan Khan welcomed the guests and highlighted the religious and cultural harmony in Toowoomba. Other speakers included Dr Mark Copland, Fr Brain Sparksman and representatives of Interfaith Working Group. Imam Abdul Kader answers questions from audience. A large number of members of the wider community participated in the event and asked questions on various aspects of Islam and Muslims.
Everyone enjoyed the delicious food from different parts of the world and had good time in a very friendly and welcoming environment. The children enjoyed the jumping castle and police car demo. “I want to thank everyone contributed in the preparation of the event including cooking and setting up the hall and gazebos,” Prof Khan told CCN. Apologies were received from Federal MP Dr John McVeigh, State MP Mr David Janetzki and Mayor Cr Paul Antonio.
This page is offered for information only; the material herein in not specifically endorsed nor approved by Religions for Peace Australia