Muslims in Toowoomba had another successful community event on Saturday 31 July 2021 in spite of the pandemic and lockdown in many parts of Australia and Queensland. This was the 8th Annual Toowoomba Annual International Food Festival and Garden City Mosque Open Day.

The event is now an important part of annual calendar of Toowoomba and it has been financially supported by grants from Queensland Government.

From left: Federal MP Hon Garth Hamilton; Professor Shahjahan Khan, Inspector Kim Hill, Queensland Police Services; Cr Melissa Taylor and Mayor Paul Antonio, Toowoomba Regional Council; Professor Barbara de la Harpe, University of Southern Queensland; Community Police Officer Catherine English; and Principal Mark Creedon, Darling Heights State School.

The diversity and taste of food were great. The environment was very welcoming and engaging. People asked questions informally and in the formal session, as well as during viewing of the inside of the reconstructed Masjid building. In general, the participants were very happy and left with an impressive positive note.

The speakers were very positive and highlighted the contribution of Muslims and the Mosque in the social fabric of Toowoomba. The guest speakers appreciated the message of unity and upheld the actions of the Islamic Society of Toowoomba to bring people together to create a peaceful and harmonious community breaking barriers of nationality and ethnicity.

Part of audience

The formal presentation session started with the recitation of the Holy Quran by Br Abdu Mohamed.

The speakers included Cr Paul Antonio, Mayor of Toowoomba Regional Council; Hon Garth Hamilton MP, Federal Member for Groom (Toowoomba); Professor Barbara de la Harpe from University of Southern Queensland; Inspector Km Hill representing the Queensland Police Commissioner; Mr Mark Creedon, Principal of Darling Height State School; and Professor Shahjahan Khan, President of Islamic Society of Toowoomba.

Viewing inside the reconstructed Mosque

A recorded message of Minister for Multicultural Affairs Queensland Hon Leanne Liard MP was played. Hon David Janetzki MP, State Member for Toowoomba South could not join the event as he had to be in quarantine.

Associate Professor Dr Mainul Islam delivered the Vote of Thanks acknowledging all the guests, sponsors, volunteers and participants.

Food stalls

With reference to the contemporary practice to protect people from the COVID-19 pandemic, Professor Khan noted Dr Craig Considine’s article in the Newsweek that suggested that Muslims and non-Muslims are following Islamic Shariah by practicing Lockdown and Quarantine.

As Prophet Muhammad (s) said, “If you heard the plague of land, do not enter it, and if it occurred on the land while you were on it, do not get out of it.” (Lockdown); and the Messenger ordered, “keep those with contagious diseases away from healthy people.” (Quarantine).

The event was covered in the Daily Chronicle last weekend and it was posted and shared in many social media helping to reach out to much wider population, especially those who could not make to the event.

Children in jumping castle

Reconstruction of burnt Toowoomba Mosque is approaching to the Final Stage. Donations are welcome: Toowoomba Islamic Charitable Trust, BSB 064459, A/C 1034 1586