With Stories Of Thankfulness @ The Mosque…
On Australia Day at the Baitul Masroor Mosque in Stockleigh, the hospitality was warm, and the stories told were compelling. A flag raising ceremony was held, then MC, Zain Ul Abidin, welcomed the honoured guests: the member for Logan, Linus Power MP, and Logan City Councillors Laurie Koranski, Tony Hall, and Jon Raven, along with friends and neighbours.
Several people shared stories of injustice and persecution in their homeland. One of those was eight-year-old Arshia who told her family’s story. Her father was imprisoned for two years for his faith but eventually was able to join his family in Australia where Arshia is enjoying school and wants to become a scientist.
Keynote speaker Yousaf Khan described going to the mosque in his home city Lahore one Friday. On that day militants attacked the mosque and massacred ninety worshippers and injured several hundred others. Mr Yousaf was spared and a year later was able to immigrate to Australia with his family. Mr Yousaf was deeply thankful for the opportunities he and his family have been given in Australia.
The theme of thankfulness for freedom and opportunities in Australia ran through the whole ceremony. The councillors and Linus Power MP were all invited to speak, with Cr Laurie greatly praising the mosque members for their community work such as flood and food relief, and blood donations.
The programme was concluded by Imam Mohammad Atae Rabbi Hadi with a vote of thanks and silent prayer.
Afterwards, all were invited to share the delicious barbeque and continue to get to know each other. It was a fitting way to celebrate Australia on this day – a nation whose people come from more than 270 different ancestries – a great honour to be a part of the day.
By Susan Alexander (Reporter)