House debates

Monday, 3 June 2013

Constituency Statements

Ahmadiyya Muslim Association

10:52 am

Photo of Steve GeorganasSteve Georganas (Hindmarsh, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I was very pleased to have been invited by Manzoor Qadir Khan, the President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association of South Australia, to attend their exhibition of the Koran on Saturday, 27 April—a wonderful exhibition with versions of the Koran in as many languages as you can think of. I thank them for inviting me. In attendance on the day were the Lieutenant Governor of South Australia, Huei Van Le; members of the West Torrens council; and many people from the western suburbs. The exhibition was aimed at teaching people about the many great aspects of the Islamic faith and that peace is at the heart of the Ahmadiyya Muslim faith—it is about the pursuit of peace and knowledge. This came across on the day.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim community has long been persecuted by many authorities across many countries and regions around the world. They have made their way here—many as refugees and others as migrants—and to the UK, the US and many other places where they can practise their religion peacefully and freely. The main aim of the day was to show us that Islam is a religion of peace and a culture of peace and knowledge.

I was very pleased to hear from the Ahmadiyya Muslim community on this day and to see the great things they are doing. Unfortunately, there are those around the world who are persecuted for practising this faith. In some cases around the world, violence is deployed against people of this faith. In Australia, we worship freely and as we please. It is unfortunate to see that there are still places around the world where people are not free to worship.

A couple of weeks after this event, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship visited my electorate and I set up a meeting between him and the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association to talk about the many issues they face in different parts of the world. I would like to congratulate them for seeing a role for themselves in trying to educate the broader South Australian members of their faith and to increase our knowledge and understanding of one of the world's largest and oldest religions. I appreciate that they put on display some wonderful copies of the Koran in every possible language that you can think of. (Time expired)