About Muslims in Australia
There are around 476,000 Muslims in Australia, equating to around 2.2% of the population. The majority of Muslims belong to the Sunni denomination, with minorities from Shiite, Sufi, Salafi and other smaller denominations.
Muslims are both Australian born and comprise of migrants from many countries, including Lebanon, Turkey, Bosnia, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Albania, Somalia and many other countries. Mosques have been built all around Australia by the local Muslim communities, with the first established in Broken Hill by the Afghan cameleers in 1891.
There are many Islamic charities established in Australia, dedicated to serving humanity in aid, through orphanages, feeding the poor, healthcare and natural disaster relief.
What Islam says about Ecology
Ecological principles are embedded in Islam, with the belief that all of Creation belongs to God and is entrusted to human beings to maintain the balance created by God.
Muslims believe that all of Creation are signs of God, therefore must be cared for to allow human beings to reflect on the universe to come to belief in God and to understand God’s Names and Attributes.
- The Qur’an and prophetic traditions contain hundreds of commandments to care for all of Creation, including:
- The earth He has assigned to all living creatures (Qur’an, 55:10)
- That you not transgress within the balance (Qur’an, 55:9)
- The world is beautiful and verdant and God has appointed you as His stewards over it. He sees how you acquit yourselves (Prophet Muhammad in the book of Muslim)
- But waste not by excess, for God loves not the wasteful (Qur’an, Al-An’am, 6:141)
- There is not a moving (living) creature on earth, nor a bird that flies with its two wings, but are communities like you…then unto their Lord they (all) shall be gathered (Qur’an, 6:37)
- Fear God in your treatment of animals (Prophet Muhammad in the book of Abu Dawud)
Where Islam stands on Interfaith Relations
Interfaith dialogue and relationships are an important component of Islam.
The Qur’an says:
- “O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other (not that you may despise (each other).” (Qur’an, 49:13)
- “Say: ‘O People of the Book (Christians and Jews)! Come to common terms as between us and you’” (Qur’an, 3:64).
Islamic organisations have been established in Australia and across the world, dedicated to engaging in dialogue with people of other religions, such as Affinity Intercultural Foundation in Sydney and Australian Intercultural Society in Melbourne, amongst others.
More information on Islam