Australian Parliamentarian speaks about Ramadhan
Mr. Lauri Ferguson, Federal member for Reed and current parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs and Settlement Services, in a media release, has given a very good background about Muslims fasting in the month of Ramadhan. Some interesting statistics about Muslims and historical background to the original Muslim settlements in Australia by the people of Afghanistan (The Ghans) is also given.
Mr. Lauri Ferguson has been closely associated with ALMA for nearly six years and you may recall the encouraging speech he delivered at our young achievers award ceremony in 2007.
The full release reads as follows:
Muslim Australians prepare to celebrate Ramadan
21 August 2009
Ramadan begins at dawn tomorrow (August 22), the Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs and Settlement Services, Laurie Ferguson, said today.
Ramadan is a time when Australia’s Muslim community commemorates the month in which the Holy Quran was revealed and is a period of fasting, spiritual reflection and goodwill. It is also entails acts such as charity, kindness, generosity and forgiveness.
'In Australia, some 340 000 people from more than 100 countries are Muslims. In fact, nearly 40 per cent of Muslim Australians were born in Australia,' Mr Ferguson said.
'The Islamic community has been a part of Australia’s cultural landscape since the 1800s, comprising a large number of diverse ethnicities and cultural backgrounds.
'It was the Afghans 150 years ago who played an essential role in opening up the Australian outback. The Ghan rail train is named in honour of these pioneers and is testimony to their contibution to our society.'
The commencement of the holy month of Ramadan begins with the first light of dawn commemorating the revelation of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammed.
'Australia prides itself as a nation which cherishes religious freedom, welcoming people from all religious and cultural backgrounds,' Mr Ferguson said.
'Muslim Australians have contributed to almost every sphere of community life, helping our nation to become more open, enterprising, innovative and creative.
'Ramadan is a time of the year when I would invite everyone to lend support and understanding to the Muslim community.'
A major event happening during Ramadan is the 11th annual Chand Raat Eid Festival on September 19 at the Whitlam Leisure Centre in Liverpool. Thousands of people will celebrate the end of Ramadan at the festival, which will boast more than 100 stalls, cultural displays and handicrafts.
'I wish all Muslim Australians the very best for Ramadan – Ramadan Karim – and I look forward to celebrating at the Chand Raat Eid Festival at its conclusion,' Mr Ferguson said.
Media contact: Carla Wilshire 0432 755 935