Paul Grigson: Islam Has a Place in Australia

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FDIK Theater, UIN NEWS Online– Islamic communities have the same place to live and thrive on the Australian mainland. Multicultural communication patterns allow them to express their faith and culture. Meanwhile, emerging resistances on Muslim groups do not represent the attitudes of citizens and government of Australia as a whole.

As stated by Paul Grigson, Australian Ambassador to Indonesia, while delivering his lecture at the Theatre Faculty of Da’wa and Communication (FIDKOM) UIN Jakarta, Thursday (17/03).

“Muslim communities are growing in Australia. Half a million people are Muslim, and can freely express their faith there, “he explained.

Referring to the Australian Population Census 2011, 476 291 Australian residents consider themselves Muslims (2.2%). Islam is the third largest religion professed Australian residents after Christians (61.1%) and Buddhists (2.5%). With a high birth rate and the continuing migration from the Middle East, Islam, the Muslim population is believed to continue to grow.

“Outside of Christianity, Islam and Buddhism competing in terms of the growing number of followers,” he explained.

The existence of Islam in Australia alone, said the man who was appointed Australian Ambassador to Indonesia in January 2015 and then, it becomes evidence on the other side of the proximity of Australia and Indonesia. For registering the historical research, Islam first spread in this region because of the role of the fishermen in search for sea cucumbers originating from Makassar, South Sulawesi who came to several beaches in Australia around the 1800s.

The spread of Islam in the region, increasingly spread over the arrival of the camel riders from Afghanistan to Australia. This is evidenced by the establishment of the very first mosque built in Australia in 1861 in the region Maree, South Australia. Furthermore, built mosques in the area of ​​Adelaide in 1888.

Alluding cases Islamophobia with the presence of resistance to the Muslim community in this country, he added, not entirely reflect the overall attitude of the people and government of Australia. On the contrary, the overall attitude of the people and government of Australia is wide open for the presence of Islam and the Muslim community. “Islamophobia does not reflect the views of the Australian public,” he said. (Translated by Ihsan/Safee)