Emerging Islam Downunder

Category: World Affairs Topics: Australia Views: 9682
9682

As the Muslim community in Australia faces its toughest scrutiny, hundreds of men and women like Mashalla Fogg are turning their backs on Christianity either by marriage or conversion.

A Saturday Daily Telegraph investigation over seven weeks has found that just one Muslim association in Lakemba has overseen almost 500 conversions of non-Middle Eastern people in just three years.

Two-thirds are women? Choosing to don the veil for Allah.

They have helped propel the rapid growth in our Muslim population, up from 200,885 at the 1996 census to 281,578 today.

While this 40 per cent increase comes largely from immigration, it is also due to women such as single mother of three Mashalla Fogg.

Her long search for peace ended when she converted along with her three children.

The softly spoken nurse packed up her children and left the Hunter Valley two years ago to move to Lakemba. Now she wears the the hijab and abayah and smiles as she describes the joy Islam has given her and her children once known as Blade, Kayla and Jessica and now called Bilal, Amatullah and Yassmine.

"My mother is C of E and my father Catholic so I grew up exposed to both religions, but Islam is the first that has given me all the answers I have sought for such a long time," the 31-year-old said.

"Christianity never added up and Islam just did."

Yassmine, 10, began wearing the hijab a week before her mother and said she was odd one out at school when not wearing it.

For the past seven weeks The Saturday Daily Telegraph has been investigating why so many young Australians are turning to Islam when it is the most feared and scrutinized faith in the world.

Most new Muslims come from Christian backgrounds and have been ostracized by their families, while others fear to identify publicly for fear of being labeled terrorists.

Said Kanawati from the Australian New Muslim Association who runs the introduction to Islam classes said new converts were introduced by school friends, work colleagues and neighbors.

The Qantas engineer and father of three said average Australians had little understanding of Islam and he believes Muslims can never fully integrate into this society.

"We can watch the rugby, but not in a pub surrounded by alcohol and we can go to the beach but our women cannot wear bikinis," he said.

Islam is the fastest-growing religion with estimates of about 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide.

Source: The Daily Telegraph


  Category: World Affairs
  Topics: Australia
Views: 9682

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Older Comments:
LEILA TAHA FROM AUSTRALIA said:
Im suprised no-one has commented on the international outrage caused by Sheik Elhilalys' comments. He said at Lakemba Mosque to 500 Muslims that women that are not wearing the hejab are 90% responsible for adultery and are basically responsible if they are raped. He likened unveiled women to uncovered meat, saying "if a cat eats uncovered meat u dont blame the cat" The Govt and some moderate muslims want him to go,be sacked. This man is a dangerious, role model to young Muslims, both male and female. His comments clearly insight males to belief they have a right to sexually assault unveiled women. Its an insult to all Muslims, implying that men are so weak they can't control themselves around unveiled women. He said women are sent by the devil to destroy men. Im suprised people arent voicing their opinions on this. After all, we live in a democracy and multi-culturalism is quite successful here. Why allow the Sheik to create anti-Muslim feeling, speak up and speak out.
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ABDUL HAKEEM FROM SAUDI ARABIA said:
Masha Allah, This is very good news to every true Muslim that Islam is very fast growing relegion in the present world. I hope all reverted brothers and sisters should get the true knowledge and good practice of Islam and live as a true representative of the Muslim Umma that others may learn from you. Islam is very simple and we shoudl keep that simplicity and humbleness in our whole endeavour of our life
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SITI RAFEAH ABDUL AZIZ FROM MALAYSIA said:
Dear Kiri Exton,

Please visit www.nzmuslim.net website for info and contacts of the Muslim community in New Zealand.
May this help.

Wassalam,
Siti Rafeah.
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FALIKU FROM USA said:
Allahu Akbar! You ain't seen nothing yet--colloquially speaking. I wonder who is putting swords to this people's throat to force them to make these life or death decisions? Because that is the version we have been hearing since time immemorial: that Islam was spread through the use of the sword. Who is still wielding this sword even now? Nobody besides Almighty Allah (SWT). He is wielding the 'sword' of Wisdom; the 'sword' of Enlightenment; and more 'heads' are continuing to roll to Islam--Alhamdu Lillahi. Islam does not boast of trained proselytes. Notwithstanding, the wonderful lifestyle of a true Muslim is enough to win any heart over to Islam. And, Alhamdu Lillahi, that is the most powerful weapon of Islam. Welcome, brothers and sisters, to the true light. Masha'llah.
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KIRI EXTON FROM NEW ZEALAND said:
This article is very pleasing and inspirational. I am a very recent convert to Islam, I have a Christian background but have finally found the love and peace I have been looking for. Although I have done a lot of research into my faith, prayers and beliefs, I still need guidance. Please can you direct me to a person or organisation in New Zealand who can help me as learn more. Thank you
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HAMZAH HALIL FROM SINGAPORE said:
Alhamdulillah...i'd like to contribute a small part by teaching Al-Quran recital and Tajweed. 'LIVE' via internet. Pls reply for further details. Wassalam.
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ASMAU LAWAL FROM NIGERIA said:
Alhamdulillah, am happy the non-muslim are knowing that Islam is the only rightfull religion, I pray that Almight Allah touches their Heart to see more of Islam
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IMAN FROM USA said:
C of E means Church of England. Episcopalian or Anglican are other terms for it.
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J. BERNAL FROM USA said:
To answer the question from Ibnu Jameel of Singapore, "What is C of E" it means the Church of England.
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J. BERNAL FROM USA said:
Emerging Islam Downunder:

For once an article that is not filled with the author's own opinions, it outlined the feelings and thoughts of some Muslims and the reason why they converted, or reverted.

One issue that should be clarified is the comment by Said Kanawati, "...we can go to the beach but our women cannot wear bikinis ..." While Muslims can go to the beach, it is not recommended if there are women running around in bikinis for either the man or women to go to the beach.

Mr. Kanawati comment "...Muslims can never fully integrate into this society." Is true, because we should not participate or be in areas that have been deemed wrong or off limits for the Muslim by either the Quran or the Sunnah.

J. Bernal, Calif. Hispanic Revert
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KHALIFA FROM USA said:
THAT WILL EVEN ENCOURAGE ME TO HELP OTHERS WHOMAY NEED MY HELP TO FACILITATE THEIR CONVERSION TO ISLAM IN WHERE I LIVE NOW ANY WHERE I GO
.
THANK
JISE KALALAAH
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ADAM IBRAHIM MUHAMMAD FROM NIGERIA said:
Salam Murtaza,

Nothing besides the creator Allah is more than the prophet Muhammad (not Mohammed) SAW. Therefore nobody searches for any thing greater than anything, we search for the truth, and the truth Brother is that the Imamuz-zaman, the Wali, the Mahdi etc all bow down to Allah using the final message of submission as delivered to all of us, by the greater than ALL creations our nabiyy, our sayyid, the noble prophet Muhammad SAW.

Iza ja'a nasurullahi wal fath.... Let's follow the way of the prophet and do tasbih to Allah for his mercies and blessings, may He continue to guide us unto that path that is straight to Himself, ameen.
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DLYANA FROM AUSTRALIA said:
Alhamdullillah this new is really an eye opener especially to me as well as other born muslims. We always take our Islamic religion for granted.Just because we are born muslims we fail to see the beauty of Islam and the greatnest of Allah. Today we find that muslims who are born from a muslim family but they are not a true practising Muslims.
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MURTAZA ALI FROM USA said:
I do not understand one thing. Inspite of the fact that today Islam and Muslims are the most troubled and misunderstood, why do people want to convert to Islam ?
Christianity, Judiasm and other religions also speak of the truth, that there is one God. Isn't this a sort of a Miracle.

Are people searching for something more than Moses, something more than Jesus, something more than the last Prophet Mohammed Rasul-Allah. Are they searching for the Wali ? Are they searching for the Mahdi ?

Asalamualaika Ya Imam-uz-Zaman
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ASHRAF KANDIL FROM USA said:
I found the same effect of a continuous stream of converts embracing Islam in the US. They are estimated to be around 8,000 a year nationwide. I think that places a beautiful challenge on the Muslim community to embrace them too with love, tolerance and mentoring so that they would mature in their knowledge of the creator.
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JAMES SMITH FROM USA said:
Bismi Lah and in the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful,

This article is quite a window on the world and its interaction with Islam. It is one more testimony that people are embracing Islam as a religion of peace, a way of life, and a way of understanding the world in its true sense. Islam with its view of Judaism and Christianity has always had a positive impact on those who have decided to convert. It is the promise of the Almighty Allah that Islam will make its way through the hearts of humanity. It is the only religion which tackles life's issues from so many angles with its analysis of the other Divine religions (Judaism and Christianity) that many of those converts always conclude by saying, "This is exactly what I have been waiting for for so long and, therefore, I feel at peace with my existence under a Bigger Power called Allah, our Creator."

Thank you for the article.

Wasalamu Alaikum
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KAMRAN FROM PAKISTAN said:
I trust inshaAllah that these new muslims especially the reverts will be much better than the most of us who are born in muslim countries by the blessing of Allah and have muslims names and families but still in practise most of us are so far away from the message and essence of islam.

God bless you all.
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IBNU JAMEEL FROM SINGAPORE said:
From the sentence of the ninth paragraph "My mother is C of E and my father Catholic so I grew up exposed to both religions," please explain the meaning of the words 'C of E'.
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VALERIE FROM UNITED STATES said:
Assalamu Aleikum Anita Quigley,
It is sad that Muslims especially get the "bad rap". This is mainly due to how the media reports acts or terror. The media will say and write things such as, "And the Mulsim extremists have done this bad thing or terrible acts". Or things like, "The Muslim Hezbollah has claimed this or that..." People that have no true knowledge or understanding of Islam will therefore associate Islam with terror.

As a recent convert to Islam from being a Protestant Christian I know how easy it can be to be mislead and to become judgmental. I think that the answer to this lack of understanding is to offer Diversity and Community Relations classes for all Junior High and Hish School aged children so that they can have an opportunity to get out and meet the different cultures and religious people within their community. I took such a class in my community college and what a wonderful eye-opener to a better life-that of true understanding of humanity. I think everyone should take the class if for nothing else, a fun class of learning.

Really now, only God can judge and yet this too seems problematic. Too many people thinking that their way is the only way (I know because I was thinking like this when I was a Christian and that you went to my church or you were following false God and were doomed to hell) anyway, you were of the same faith or you were a bad person. Too many people out there making judgments upon others. For true peace between people there needs to be an understanding. Also another potential solution-people need to concentrate on their own personal union with God-or Goddesses or whatever-to just find peace for themselves in their chosen faith. Really, it matters not what religion, race, ethnicity, financial status, male or female whatever, we all have same needs of food, clothing, shelter and the giving and receiving of love and acceptance. The same sun shines upon us all. I wish for everyone there be peace. Asasalamu Aleikum
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