Islam in Australia
Channel: Yasir Qadhi
File Size: 23.27MB
It's a short impromptu hotter I just got off the plane A few hours ago, I just came back from Australia, a little bit jet lagged still 15 hour flight by the way, direct from Sydney to Dallas I haven't slept for alone knows how long. So if I slurring my speech is because of the jetlag. Interestingly, I took off at 4pm Tuesday, and I landed at 3pm Tuesday.
I'm not joking, I landed before I took off.
It is what it is. So baraka of time, the baraka of time and hamdulillah Hamlet, of course, when I went there, I weren't Wednesday, I landed Friday. So all of a sudden, just, you know, time jumps up and down because you've crossed the date line. But some thoughts about Islam in these, for us the opposite side of the world. I have visited this country, Australia three times in the last 20 years. It's actually one of the first countries I ever went to I went more than 20 years ago, when I was still a student in Medina, they invited me so I've been once after that, and this is my third and the most extensive, extensive trip that I've done to the country, I went to three four cities
hamdulillah had an interaction with the people there. And subhanAllah. In these last 20 years, Islam has tripled in in amongst the people of Australia, the Muslim community, the Muslim percentages, the Muslim numbers has tripled times three in 20 years. And I was very impressed to see so many positive changes. So I just wanted to summarize a little bit, because I think it is useful for us to be aware of the battles and the pros and cons and what's going on in other sides of the world. Very briefly, you should all be aware, Australia's, of course, considered to be one of the most isolated continents of the world. Around 50,000 years ago, 50,000 years ago, in the very least, a group of
mankind separated from the rest of mankind, the Aborigines and literally have lived, they're disconnected from the rest of the world for one of the longest times of human isolation. So in and of itself, there's a lot of anthropological and cultural studies to be done amongst the Aborigines and you know, their culture and their heritage and their religion, their DNA.
I didn't know this until this trip, actually, we now know for a fact around 16 1700s, the Muslims of Indonesia began trading with the Aborigines. And so there are authentic remnants of Islam amongst the Aborigines including, and I did verify this because I don't believe these, you know, fairytales, you know, this, I do my research, I do my stuff. I have verified, some of the tribes of the Aborigines have adopted the name of Allah when it comes to God. And so when they are praising they're not Muslim, but the influence of Islam is very clear in their rituals. And there are phrases in there that have come from the Muslims of Indonesia, hamdulillah type and the Kalima type, there's
phrases in their hymns and in their songs that they do in their worship that are taken from the Muslims of, of Indonesia, the moccasin tribe of Indonesia, they were trading there for 200 years, and there was a peaceful relationship. And there's artwork there that shows the trading that took place. What happened, of course, the the Europeans came, once the Europeans came, the Muslim trade ended, but factually speaking, we don't know of any Muslims who converted amongst average, and maybe they didn't, maybe we didn't, we don't know. When the Europeans came, they began European migration, British migration 1790. And as you're aware, the funny story that you know, people like to make
jokes, but it's actually true. They would send convicts to Australia, the British, if you committed crimes, instead of housing you in jail, they sent you to Australia, so you can understand the number of jokes that will come out of there. But of course, that was one percentage of people. Not everybody that founded it was, was obviously a descendant of these people. Nonetheless, the interesting point, Muslims were brought in very quickly by the British, why
Australia is a desert. If you fly from Sydney to the other side, Perth, it's literally like LA to New York, but the middle is complete desert. So Australia has less than 10% What what America does in terms of population, but landmass is not that different. So Australia is largely uninhabited, only the the the peripheral regions around the coastline. The Insight is absolute brutal desert. So the British realized, what do they need?
They need camels and the British are ruling India. So this was the British do. They brought 1000s and 1000s of camels so that the internal railroad and the system between the cities can be constructed. Now who's going to manage the camels of the British?
They brought in 1000s of Indians Afghan in particular, they call them Afghan, many were Buckton many were you
No Punjabis Baluch, but the majority of work that walked on Afghan, and the bulk of them were Muslim. So 1000s of Muslims were brought in 67 years after the founding of Australia, literally. And they're the ones who built the railroad and the infrastructure inside the country. So much. So you can literally look this up, I'm not joking, the most luxurious train line that is now considered to be one of the best tourist things to do. It is called the Han Express, the Gan Express from afghan is called the Gan Express. And it goes from one side of Australia all the way to the other side. Why? Because the Afghan built it. And so it's called the gun Express, you can look it up, it's a
luxury. Now, of course, back then it was used for trade now is just used for tourism. And it's a luxury train that goes from top to bottom built by the afghan. So these homies that came, the Muslims that came there were the ones who built the first massage it these massage a date back 250 years in the 1800s. They built massages along the trade routes, and they built massage and then some of the cities. However, these Muslims were given extreme second third class citizenship. In fact, they never got citizenship. As you can imagine, they were mistreated laws were passed against them, once they had done their job, their 10 years over, they applied for citizenship, Australia said no,
you're not worthy to be our citizens living in limbo. They're not allowed to own property. They're not allowed to many of them to have bank accounts as a struggle. Some of them were, you know, hurt or persecuted, some had to migrate back, some didn't couldn't afford to migrate, but is a very terrible tragedy, which is not a typical for that timeframe, especially in Australia. Of course, if this was bad, how they treated the Aborigines is much, much, much worse. And that's a whole different trajectory in history for over 4050 years. By the way, one of the most inhumane policies ever done. They would forcibly forcibly take Aboriginal children from their parents, and take them
and house them to people that didn't have children amongst the Caucasian class intentionally wanting to eradicate aborigine culture. And this is called the lost generation. So for two generations, they would literally abduct you literally the police walk in on the way there, I watched a documentary about this, you cannot help but almost cry, the mothers are still alive they are, I saw an interview seven children of hers, knock on the door policeman comes in, Here's the warrant, you have to take your children, not even the father went to work, he comes back home, all seven kids missing. This is government sanction policy for 60 years. So if you think the Afghan had it bad, the Aborigines you
cannot even compare. And to this day, by the way, just like the native Indians to this day, they have their own reservations or whatnot. And as you can imagine, the government just gives, you know, gambling, alcohol, all of this. So unfortunately, these reservations are known for this type of stuff, high unemployment, et cetera, this is not their fault. It's the way that it has happened. But that's a different trajectory. By the way, before I move on, I met an Aboriginal convert. He said that Dawa is happening but it's, it's rare, it's difficult. So maybe he said there's maybe a few 1000 that are Muslim, but unfortunately, in the major cities, and the aboriginals is separate from
the major cities. So you can imagine just like if somebody says back home, have you met American Indian, Native Indian, how many of us meet them here, you know, in the, in the metropolitan cities similarly over there, Sydney and Melbourne in these major cities, it's not as common there are entire districts up north and up West entire areas. I didn't go there. Those are majority, you know, aborigine and socio economically extreme poverty into just like ghetto towns. And when as you can imagine that because so get back to our Muslim story. So these Afghans they built the first mosques. To this day, there are some remnants of those mosques in one or two cities, they built the mosques,
those messages, the locations have remained. So the same Masjid the first Masjid are still big operating 18 at 1870 Still, we can't compare to America. There's nothing in America that's 1880 that's still here. But in Australia, the first messages that are still standing you have 1880 Something that plaques from that era, however, those Alphonse unfortunately their children by and large, did not retain Islam it's very rare the default there are many you know pockets of these the descendants of these of us they know their forefathers or have on they still have the names you know, we do there's something I forgot that what what they are saying there's a famous name some of
the biggest business people, some of the biggest players, sports players, they have this last name, this means they are from Afghan heritage, okay. Ghul is one of them, goon, one of them. So this is from that heritage, but because they couldn't bring their families because there was
Complete discrimination. They had to marry indigenously aborigines? And obviously, how long can they retain their Islam and Iman, so by and large, I have heard there's still a few that are from that batch. But by and large, there is no Islam. And by the way, the same thing happened in America. And in South America. I told you this multiple times those that came 150 years ago. They weren't able to retain the faith in 1900, Australia then banned all immigration except from I'm not joking with you. Why two European countries? So from 1900 onwards, very racist policy, anybody who's brown, black, we don't want you we only want European Whites. And so you had all of the Greeks Italians and others
come, but there was one batch of Muslims that also came who can guess which that batches?
Hispanic No, there was no Spain Muslims in 1900.
Nice try. Turkeys, not turkeys not in the Europeans. 1900 No, still,
Albania and the Balkans. So the first batch of because Albania was undergoing a dictatorship. And the Muslims are being persecuted. Again, this interesting history. They're being persecuted. There are so many 1000s of them, because European Whites are allowed and Albanians are European Whites. Right. So Albanians came. So the first messages built of the immigrant generation are then from the Albanian and the Balkans, the Bosnian but primarily Albanian community. And by and large, they're still around, but now their percentages are small. Many of them have retained the faith. I met a Member of Parliament, whose grandfather was one of these immigrants so that he's now a member of
parliament, and he came to our convention interacted with him. So he's, he's from that heritage. In 1970, something they uplifted this racist policy, but even then, they primarily gave immigration to people of a particular you know, you know, skin color. I don't know how else to say this. It's just very blunt here. I'm not trying to be racist, they're the ones racist, but I'm explaining their policy. Along with Stein, it is what it is. So in 1970 onwards, the main groups that were allowed immigration and they were are still the primary groups are the Lebanese and the Turkish. These were now given immigrant status. And so the Lebanese Australians are the largest demographics of Muslims
in all of Australia, the Lebanese or the oldest. The defaulted are the ones who built the first massager that are now the big massager, the mantra says the schools. So this is the first batch that came, they began in the mid 70s. And they continuing even up until now, but obviously, now the primary group of immigrants is no longer Lebanon. Now you have the other groups, but the Lebanese batch is the largest batch of Muslims, and that is the default and they have entire districts. The Muslims of Australia, their statistics are far better than ours, we are less than 1%. In America, they are already 3.5% projected to be 5% within a decade. And most likely within two three decades,
most likely they might even get to be 10%. This is astronomical. And in Sydney and Melbourne, which is where predominantly they're concentrated. They are almost one in six, one in seven in some places. Actually sorry. They in the entire city. One in six is a Muslim in Sydney and Melbourne. But in certain districts, the entire district is predominantly Muslim, the entire like Plano, let's say, I'm not talking about a neighborhood, I'm talking about an entire subdivision, everywhere you go is just predominantly Lebanese or whatnot. And this is something that again, very rare to see in America. But again, this goes back to their immigration and their policies. Also because of this,
obviously, you can imagine the concentration of massages is much higher than ours, because again, the whole district is Muslim. Another amazing fact which I really loved Halal restaurants, everywhere. In fact, they told me they assured me and I'm basing it on what they say the default of beef and lamb is that tip says hello. This is what they told me the default is that it is halal in these large cities. Now, they also said and I spoke with a chef who actually visits the the the slaughterhouses so I confirm with an eyewitness, the default of exported beef and lamb is that it is halal by government policy. Bit not because they care about Muslims but they care about money. And
because Australia has now become importing to Gulf countries and other lands. So now the government has instituted a policy that lamb and beef is good to be slaughtered by a Muslim. And this Mia is done I asked the Bismillah is done. And therefore this with a person who visits and knows the government policy assured me that this is the default of Australian beef and lamb again the Muslim
influence even though they're only 3.5%, but they went into the slaughterhouses now it is basically the default here. Another interesting thing about the country, as you're probably aware, Australia is a social democracy, unlike us and America. And so your tax dollars, they don't send them to apartheid regimes overseas that much. They actually send them apart, though, as a joke, by the way, a really tough job because of what's happening, because most of our money goes there. Those countries, yes, they tax you a lot. But where does that money go? Internally, so their health care is phenomenal. I met her brother, I met him he was literally yesterday, I had lunch with him. He
told me his son had a rare disease.
Nobody in Australia could do the operation. And this is Lebanese background, Muslim. Nobody else could do operation. There was a team in Cleveland, the Cleveland Clinic that was specialized in this operation, the Australian Government, subcontracted to them, flew them in 17, doctors life threatening to the child 17 Doctors flew in, did the surgery and flew back out the same day, the government paid for this, you paid nothing. I know for us Americans health care is just note you have to understand most other Western countries. You don't pay for your health. I know for us Americans, we have this difficult to believe. And everybody's like shocked at our health care. You
guys pay for your home, what are your taxes used for? Doesn't the government give roads doesn't the government give schools doesn't. So why can give you health care? Every Western nation pretty much has free health care except for ours. And Australian health care is phenomenal. You don't need to do an appointment, you just walk in you say I have this issue what not right then and there paperwork, what not show your card, everything done, test done, go back home, everything is just phenomenal. When you understand the reality of that. Another amazing advantage that they have education of the children, Australia, if you want to open a private school, the government will subsidize the
building of the school, and we'll pay you money for every student studying there. Can you understand the implications for faith based communities, we have to raise every dollar for our Islamic schools.
In Australia, if you wanted to build an Islamic school, a Jewish school, a Christian school, the government will help you with massive amounts. And once you build it, it will pay you for every child studying there.
So the rates that Muslims pay for for Islamic schools is 1/5 of what we pay. I couldn't believe they're you know, they do pay. But it is like nominal, you know, the 600 500 nominal amount compared to us that we pay, because the government is giving your own tax because you have public school and private school, both the government gives if you want to send your kid to public fine, if you want to send to private it is subsidized. You have to pay a little bit more, but it is subsidized. So Subhanallah It was very impressive for me to see I visited multiple schools, massive schools 1000s of children, almost Trump's, where'd you get the money from? What do you mean, the government helped
us build it? Doesn't your government help? You know what the government does not help us build? It's a different world over there. Right? So every faith community has built a schools, Jewish schools, Christian schools, Muslim schools are a dime a dozen, so many Muslim schools over there. Because when you have the government going to help you as long as you get your team, your qualified people, you show the government you have a plan, there's going to be help. I think you have to I'm not 100% Sure, I think you have to give a little bit to build it. But for sure, once it is built, a percentage comes to the government and a percentage from the parents. So it's much more reasonable.
So what I attended a convention, that's where I was invited last weekend, And subhanAllah it was just very impressive for me that despite the fact that community is brand new, it's only a few decades old, the connections they have with the government, three ministers came, the mayor came the municipal director came the whole government officials are there you know, all waiting, and the week that I was this last Friday, I happened to me in Melbourne and give the whole in Sydney, the prime minister himself visited the largest Masjid after the whole tuba. The Kimber Masjid is the largest Masjid there's the Lebanese Masjid over there, the prime minister came to the hole and addressed the
congregation appealing to them for a policy vote that they need to do because another issue about Australia, you must vote in the elections you have no option is not voluntary. You must vote right and voting is much easier. Just to be honest, unlike us, you must vote in certain elections. You have the option to say I don't want to vote but you have to register. I'm not voting in this. You get my point. You cannot just stay at home. You have to indicate that's what they say a democracy you have to be a part of the process. So you must give your vote. So the prime minister imagine Biden coming and He's appealing to the congregation. I need you
guys to support this policy, everybody should support this policy. This is the reality that the concentration of Muslims is so much the Prime Minister has to come and make a special appeal in this regard. That is something we don't even can't even imagine in this in this, you know, land of hours. So bottom line, I, one of the things I appreciate when I travel the world, I see the good and the bad, I see the diversity, I see the flourishing of Islam. First time I went to the upper North City called Brisbane, the Gold Coast and hadn't been there before. And subhanAllah 1000s of Muslims, and they are building a mega complex, land wise, it is better than bigger than epic, land wise, it is
bigger than epic. But community wise are smaller than us. But land wise, they have a massive land. And they're building an entire infrastructure with, again, the whole concept of gymnasium and school in the same retirement. Oh, I forgot to mention this retirement home. The government subsidizes retirement homes. We don't have a single retirement home for the Muslims of North America. Because how are we going to build it? But over there, every community can petition and say we need a retirement home for our people. And it will be subsidized. Yes, you pay a little bit when you're there, but the government pays for so that community is building a massive, you know, 100, you know,
complex retirement home for the Muslims in a smaller city, Brisbane, but they're able to do that SubhanAllah. So again, it's just fascinating to see the diversity of Muslims, there are ups and downs. Now, of course, every community has its negatives as well. I've just come back, I want to be overall positive. But I will say generically, one of the issues that happens when you have so much mass immigration from so many different lands, you get ethnic divisions, and this is a problem globally. We Muslims, can you imagine certain pockets of Sydney are at 90% Muslim? Can you imagine certain pockets of Sydney, right? The Muslim population of Sydney is one out of eight or something
like phenomenal statistics. Can you imagine if all of us could unite if all of them could unite how powerful their block could be there and the voting is wajib for them? You have to vote? Can you imagine, but you understand our problems as a community as always, what ethnic divisions internal politics, which is around the world, sectarian divisions, says really sad. And as you know, me, I am very anti sectarian. But this is a problem. A serious problem. Oh, this guy believes this, this guy believes that this guy chef has this the cashier has that this guy's Muqdadiyah Subhanallah you are already a minority in the Donald Cofer. And now you're gonna get irritated about these issues.
What's happening, the community can easily be divided, and SubhanAllah. My advice to everybody is to learn to work together in spite of your differences come together for the greater good, but I'm not a member of that land. I can only advise from the outside and in my own community, I can be more explicit bottom line that conclude with this. The prophets of Allah, who are they who was setting them? Once when the Sahaba came and complained about the persecution? He said to them, are you in doubt about this matter? Are you in check for a law he this religion will reach where the sun reaches east and west.
He said this when the Muslims were being persecuted in Makkah. And they couldn't imagine they didn't know of a land called Australia or even Tasmania which has a masjid as well, which I have not yet been to have a masjid in Tasmania, the furthest land.
Anybody could have imagined that Islam is going to be thriving mega mustards, massive structures, madrasa schools, Islamic schools 1000s, at the convention, who could have imagined the other side of the world and Islam is going to be flourishing. But our profits isn't predicted this when the Muslims are being persecuted. He said, are you in doubt unto fish Chuck Walla, he I swear by Allah this matter will reach everything the sun reaches Eastern West, this religion will reach all over there and we see this in reality. Islam is flourishing and thriving, and inshallah if we are wise, we understand the situation. We are cohesive and we plan and have a vision insha Allah Islam will go
from strong to stronger and a shallow continue this talk in the hood, about the whole issue of philosophy because it's very relevant until then is Dr. lookers dramatic, monumental lightworker.
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