Author: Professor Shahjahan Khan

Toowoomba Mosque celebrates community harmony

Muslims in Toowoomba came together in large numbers at the Garden City Mosque on Sunday 14 May 2017 with families to meet and greet the members of the wider community marking the 4th Toowoomba Annual International Food Festival together with the Mosque Open Day.  In spite of the forecast for rain, the weather was exceptionally good and there were lots of non-Muslims who came to enjoy the day with members of the mosque and know about Islam and its followers in an open and friendly environment. There were lots of multicultural food items – diverse in look, colour, and...

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Reform is the answer for malaise in AFIC

Many members of the Australian Muslim community are genuinely worried about the future of their umbrella organisation, the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC).  The ongoing grouping, infighting and lack of respect and trust on the leaders of AFIC may have even made some Muslims seriously thinking to start a new organisation to avoid the repeat of all wrongdoings of AFIC and the potential liabilities resulting from the ongoing legal proceedings. Some others are in the opinion that, as a last attempt to reform AFIC, a completely new leadership should be elected in the upcoming Federal Congress. The team must be fresh without any link to the recent and past infightings. Given the recent history of AFIC elections, the incumbent group is unlikely to create an environment conducive to any fair and noncontroversial elections. Fortunately, recently a wise judge has instructed AFIC to call a Federal Congress and appoint an independent body to conduct the election of a new Executive Committee (EXCO) of AFIC in the Federal Congress to be held from 6-7 May 2017. Refreshed AFIC must avoid all leaders who have brought it to the verge of collapse, especially those who have been frequently changing sides for mysterious reasons, compromising principle, dignity and trustworthiness, and are in the business of one day calling someone enemy and the next day becoming the best friend, and the vice versa....

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How to save AFIC from self-destruction

The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC), the peak body of all Muslims in Australia, is in its deepest crisis since it came into existence as AFIS in 1963 and later restructured as AFIC in 1976.  Actually, it is at the verge of collapse, if not demise, due to the total failure of its recent leaders, to manage AFIC as the national umbrella organisation of Australian Muslims and its once glorious Islamic schools. The ongoing infighting among its leaders is leading to numerous costly legal battles. Unprecedented lack of trust among the members and leaders of AFIC and universal...

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Social cohesion in Toowoomba

The Garden City Mosque in Toowoomba was burned last year by an arson attack, second time, that made national news headlines. Toowoomba Muslim community received generous public sympathy and support from the wider community in the wake of the burning of the mosque removing any barriers between Muslims and non Muslims in the city. Although, the atmosphere of religious cooperation prevails, unfortunately the person behind the attack is yet to be identified by the police. The residents of Toowoomba including its political, religious, cultural, and ethnic communities are united to live in peace with respect and care for everyone. Muslims have been engaged with multicultural and multi-faith communities since the early nineties. Repair cost of the first fire attack on Toowoomba mosque was covered by the local churches. This was a great gesture of goodwill from the Christian friends of Muslims. After the severe burning of the mosque in the second fire, one neighbouring church offered their hall to be used as a prayer room for Muslims. Some businesses in the city offered their vacant rooms as well. When the worshippers of our mosque faced the problem of car parking on Fridays, the neighbouring church offered their car park to the Muslims. There have been regular meeting (afternoon tea) with the neighbours of the mosque to exchange views and make sure they are not disadvantaged in anyway by the...

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Islamic perspectives on higher education: USQ panel presentation

  The University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba hosted a panel presentation and discussion on `Perspectives on higher education and social harmony in the community’ on 15 March 2016.   The event was sponsored by the Pure Land Learning College (PLLC), Toowoomba. The global head of PLLC and a strong advocate of making Toowoomba a Model City of Peace and Harmony by UNESCO, Venerable Master Chin Kung initiated the program with his USQ Salon on `the role of education in global peace and harmony’. His lecture was in Chinese but it was simultaneously translated in English. The panel session was...

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