In Australia, there are 476,000+ Muslims who are living today peacefully and share a long history, some whose ancestors have arrived there well before the British during the 1500’s from the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, which helped some members of the indigenous tribes accept Islam. Later during the 1860’s, Afghan camel breeders arrived and are credited for building the oldest surviving Masjid in Austarlia (pictured above), while thousands of Malay Muslims have arrived during the same era as pearl divers and built their own Masjids too.
From the 1901 however, during the “White Australia Policy”, the Europeans have banned all non-whites from immigrating, but even then, white European Muslims have arrived from Albania and built the first Masjid in Victoria in 1960, and once the white policy ended in 1973, Muslims arrived in large numbers and have been living in Australia peacefully since then.
Therefore, we wanted to send our condolences to our Australian siblings that we feel sorry for your recent loss in an isolated incident that doesn’t represent the nearly half a million Muslims who have been sharing this land with you for decades or hundreds of years, or the majority of the 1.6 Billion Muslims worldwide.
Just like we as Muslims don’t generalize or hold you accountable for any of the systematic violence or aggression wrongly done by some of your ancestors against the aboriginals and non-whites including Muslims (falsely in the name of Christianity), we also hope that you don’t overgeneralize or attribute these actions to the peaceful teachings of Islam or the Australian Muslim community, and that you also share with us the pain that we feel for Muslims and other humans suffering around the world, and those who are being discriminated, mistreated and profiled inside Australia by some politicians, media, and authorities. Stay strong, and may our Creator guide us all to the best of actions! #IllRideWithYou #SydneySiege#MartinPlace
Written by: Sheikh Waleed Abdulhakeem