In an era, where Muslims are considered to be doing nothing but to spread terror and violence everywhere, there are still places in this world where people think that it’s Islam that has brought success to their nations. The Australian ambassador to Indonesia, Greg Moriaty says that Islam is one of the fastest growing religions in his country, and the faith contributes significantly to the Nation’s success and the present day culture in Australia.
He said, “Islam in Australia is a dynamic, evolving story with a rich history, and one of which our country can be extremely proud of. Australian Muslims have over 70 different ethnic backgrounds and Indonesia having new ideas, skills and cultural traditions make an enormous contribution to contemporary multicultural Australia”.
He further said that Islam entered the country in the sixteenth century, even before the European Settlement, when Muslim traders and Fishermen shared a common life with the natives in all parts of Northern Australia. The statement was made on the arrival of a delegation of young Indonesian Muslim leaders, under a bilateral exchange program in order to show a wide range of cultural diversity of Australian Muslims and to develop better understanding on Islam and interfaith issues in both countries.
The delegation visited Sidney and Canberra to meet various community leaders and religious representatives, academics and the media. It seeks to exchange ideas about the future relationship between Australia and Indonesia, while reviewing different methods to see how best to engage governmental and nongovernmental organizations with the Muslim community in Australia. Members of the delegation had the opportunity to tour the “You Am I” exhibition by Australian Muslim artists in Melbourne. The City of Victoria, having a long history of immigrant settlement in the region, was also visited by the delegation.
From March to June 2011, three Indonesian Muslim delegations made reciprocal visits to Australia on the occasion of the annual Australia-Indonesia Exchange Program for Young Muslim Leaders. The final visit was held early in June.
The Muslim exchange program was established in 2002 by Australian government through the Australia – Indonesia Institute. The institute has successfully promoted arts, music, education, youth, civil society, interfaith, media and sports for over the past two decades, and will continue to fulfill its unique and vital role in cultivating understanding and friendly ties between the two nations.
June 18, 2011, All voice