Sydney Muslims of Indian origin came together on Saturday 16 July at Himalaya Function Hall in Granville to announce the formation of Indian Crescent Society of Australia Incorporated (ICSOA) at a reception given in honour of visiting Dr AS Nakadar, cardiologist, educationist, philanthropist and founder of the American Federation of Muslims of Indian Origin (AFMI).
The event was attended by more than 250 Australians of Indian origin while the invited guests included Ms Julie Finn MP for Granville, Mr Peter Doukas Chairman Ethnic Community Council of NSW and Mr Rajeev Kumar, Vice Consul of India amongst others.
Mr Abbas Alvi, the interim President of ICSOA While welcoming Dr Nakadar articulated the need and rationale for the formation of ICSOA and the progress made so far in organisation, registration and networking. ICSOA will be formally launched by the end of this year.
There are estimated to be more than 5000 Muslim families of Indian origin who live in Australia today. During the last four decades, Muslims of Indian origin from diverse background and professions have greatly contributed and enriched Multicultural Australia.
Although mainly professionals such as doctors, engineers and IT professionals, Muslims of Indian origin have been in the forefront of community organisation, mosque building and founding of cultural institutions in Australia.
Dr Qazi Ashfaq Ahmad, a professor of engineering was the founding president of the national body of Muslims, Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC) as well as initiator of a number of academic, cultural and interfaith organisation and institutions. One such project is the ongoing Multicultural Eid Festival and Fair (MEFF), the first, the largest and the longest running Indian style Mela in Australia with Islamic flavour and Multicultural richness.
Professor Akhtar Kalam, Head of Engineering at the Victoria University in Melbourne is the founder of Muslim Community Cooperative of Australia (MCCA), the first Halal financial institution in Australia.
Abbas Raza Alvi, a businessman and a poet and musician has made contribution in the field of art and culture and brought about a CD Dooriyan with diverse Australian Indian singers while combining Indian and Australian ingenious music.
Muslim Indians have founded AMU Alumni of Australia disbursing scholarships in India and South Asian Muslim Association of Australia (SAMAA) that is providing service to elderly Muslims of South Asian Origins in Australia.
Many more Muslim Indians have been recognised for their great contribution to Australia. Recently Mr Zia Ahmad, Managing editor of the Australasian Muslim Times won the Premier’s Multicultural Media Award 2016 while Mr Hasan Kureshi has been elected as the President of Sub-continent Friends of Labor (SCFOL).
The objective and purpose of ICSOA is to integrate and have a collective voice for Indian Muslims in Australia, representing them on Indian platforms in Australia as well as contribute towards Muslims as well as India in general.
ICSOA aims to accommodate all sections of Muslims of Indian origin including subsequent generation born in Australia regardless of their origin, schools of thought and language and at the same time promote Indian heritage, culture and Urdu language.