After the resounding build up of enthusiasm and exhilaration, Muslim communities had the opportunity to finally mark the celebration of Eid-ul-adha at the nationally renowned Sydney Multicultural Eid festival at Paul Keating Park, Bankstown.
The festival which occurred on Saturday October 4th and continued on Sunday October 5th warmly embraced thousands of people from a variety of ethnic cultures to celebrate the festival of sacrifice, which is the second of two major religious occasions celebrated annually on the Islamic calendar. The welcoming of people from different parts of the world illustrated the versatility and essence of harmony irrespective of caste, gender or culture.
The festival showcased the valued participation of the entire community in celebrating and valuing cultural diversity, tolerance and social cohesion. The Muslims embraced each other with joy and exchanged their greetings in spirit of peace and unity.
The vivacious atmosphere of the event resounded tears of longing as Muslims reflected on the blessed lands of Makkah and Madinah. Various people from all walks of life gather yearly at those blessed lands irrespective of race, skin colour or nationality symbolizing unity and their submission to their creator, Allah.
Participants were also treated to thrilling rides, enriching live Islamic chanting performances, face painting, stage entertainment (karate performances) abundant stalls of food, clothing, books, home wares, increased variety of rides, prayer facilities for women and overall enhanced organization and management.
The attentions were also drawn to the kid’s show that was presented live at the grounds of Paul Keating Park, Bankstown. The presenters of 2MFM gave exclusive opportunities to many children to participate and be rewarded and recognized for their efforts.
2MFM also happily provided a live coverage of the two days of fabulous festivity at the grounds of Paul Keating Park, Bankstown.
Among those present at the event were dignified Islamic leaders and imams, distinguished Federal and state political leaders, councillors and community leaders.
With the guests came the message of moderate Islamic values and principles in order to continue to help the Muslim community amalgamate within the social fabric of Australia.
The president of the Islamic Charity Projects Association made it known that the ICPA continues to work effectively to strengthen the ties among all individuals who have made Australia their homeland.
He also underlined the principles of Islam as being “a religion of peace and tolerance, a religion of compassion and harmony that advocates the principles of understanding, engagement, integration and reconciliation”.
His imminence Dr Shaykh Salim Alwan Al-Husseinyy the chairman of Darulfatwa of Australia acknowledged the significance of propagating the true teachings of Islam.
“There are many people in Australia who unlawfully use the name of Islam to promote acts of terrorism and extremism and so we should continue to stand strong against extremist and terrorist activities” He said.
Mr David Coleman, MP federal member for Banks and representing the Prime Minister Tony Abbot payed tribute to the Islamic Charity Projects Association for the impressive work they do in the community as well as the contribution they have made through 2MFM, with the youth and senior citizens.
Furthermore, Mr Coleman relayed a message from the Prime Minister of Australia, Tony Abbott who congratulated the Muslims on the blessed occasion of Eid-ul-Adha and acknowledged Australian Muslims as a vital part of Australia.
“Muslim Australians are an important part of Team Australia” Mr Tony Abbot said
Federal member for Berowra, Mr Phillip Ruddock declared that it was special to him to be invited to the Multicultural Sydney Eid festival and strongly recognized the strength of the Islamic Charity Projects Association.
“I am proud of your engagement with the broader community, particularly through radio”. He said.
the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Social Services Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells recognized that the focus of Islam, contrary to what is sometimes heard in the press and in other places is that it is the religion of giving and a religion of thinking of the less fortunate.
“I know this is a difficult time for the Muslim Community and can I particularly commend the communities for the patience and the empathy that you consistently display in instances where you have adversity or intolerance from segments of the community” She said.
“On behalf of the government, we support you and we want to continue to work with you and by working together we can foster that strong of belonging and commitment and family”
Mrs Fierravanti-Wells also strongly made it heard that there is no room for intolerance, racism or prejudice in Australia and that the Muslim Community is an important asset.
“Intolerance has no place in our society”.
“On behalf of the government, can I reiterate the message that the Australian Muslim communities are a valued and integral part of contemporary Australian society”.
Matt Kean, MP member for Hornsby representing the premier of NSW Mike Baird strongly accentuated his support towards the Muslim Community.
“It is particularly a great honour for me to be here today to say thanks to you, for the work your doing in building unity in our community, we will stand with you shoulder to shoulder to stamp out intolerance and to stamp out those that have a view that difference is unwelcome”.
Tanya Mihayluk member for Bankstown representing the leader of the opposition of NSW – Mr John Robertson also recognized and congratulated the incredible contribution and work exerted by the Islamic Charity Projects Association
“This is the organization that I have seen grow from strength to strength and they have demonstrated through a whole range of different programs that the ICPA and Darulfatwa works strongly not only with the Australian Islamic community but also the broader Australia community in uniting this community”.
Mr Paul Lynch Member for Liverpool and Mr Glen Brooks member for East Hills both acknowledged the importance of diversity and the essence of multiculturalism.
Mr Mohamad El Dana - principal of Al Amanah College highlighted the important role of educators in teaching today’s youths: “As educators, our main focus is to educate our young Australian Muslims and to equip them with the proper Islamic belief, knowledge and values in order to face today’s challenges sensibly with moderate views and tolerance. Supporting them to understand and appreciate the nature of their individuality in this multicultural diverse society and to feel proud of their identity being Australian Muslims. “
Also, the role of the Muslim Community Radio has been paramount in stressing the importance of mainting a collaborative, multicultural society as Mr Muhammad Mehio President of the 2MFM board stated.
“2MFM working against extremism and radicalization is not a new initiative developed overnight, rather since our first air time in 1995, one of our key aims and strategies was to project the true moderate views of Islam, to steer youth listeners against radical and fanatical ideologies”
Mrs Faten El-Dana OAM – President of the Muslim Women Welfare of Australia underlined that the “overwhelming majority of Muslims are living peacefully in Australia and oppose extremist views of some overseas militants”
She also urged the broader community for more tolerance and understanding.
“The Muslim Women Welfare of Australia are at the forefront of addressing important community issues through active community participation in a civilized and harmonious manner which upholds Islamic values”.
Finally, Mr Ahmad El Hage, -Senior Executive at the Australian Muslim Youth highlighted the hard work undertaken with the youths to keep them away from radicalisation.
“A.M.Y. has been working diligently with the youth, under the guidance of Darulfatwa, to fight against radicalization. Let’s learn the manners Islam teaches us and practice it, in order to squash extremism and show our fellow citizens the truth about Islam.”
The words expressed by the significant leaders highlighted the hope that unity, peace and security will be continuously upheld among the Muslim communities in the wake of the great festival.
Without any failure or disappointment, the event sustained its objective of playing an immense contribution of igniting the richness and flavour of the occasion with enormous passion and pomp.
The Muslim Community Radio also played a crucial role in perpetuating a real sense of celebration and festivity by drawing the names of the prize participants live on stage.
The luminous fireworks that brightly illuminated the night skies exemplified a spectacular attraction and brought the culmination of two days of Eid-ul-Adha festivity and celebration.
2MFM management and staff extend their deepest appreciation to those who contributed to the success of the event. We ask Allah to endow upon us goodness and blessings from this auspicious occasion.