SHAFAQNA -Â Queensland’s Muslims would like to invite you for dinner.
More Muslims than ever before will open their doors this month to share their most special timeÂ of the year.
Throughout the holy month of Ramadan, more than 20 Muslim families across Brisbane will host more than 500 non-Muslims to break their daily fast at iftar (breaking fast) dinners.
They’re an opportunity for Queenslanders unfamiliar with the world’s second-largest religion to get to know more about the culture but more importantly, the people.
Queensland Intercultural Society executive director and co-founder Abdul Celil Gelim said the events drew more host families and guests every year.
“For us Ramadan is a month for the Muslim community to open our houses to everyone, to integrate Muslim community with wider community, to come together, break bread together and to talk about common ground,” he said.
Along with the smaller dinners, the QIS will be hosting five larger events including the ninth annual Parliament House iftar dinner, hosted by Multicultural Affairs Minister Shannon Fentiman and opposition spokeswoman Tarnya Smith.
“I’d encourage Queenslanders of all faiths and cultural backgrounds to go along if they are invited to an Iftar,” Ms Fentiman said.
“It is a great way to learn more about Islamic culture, enjoy fantastic hospitality and delicious food.”
The Holland Park Mosque will host an iftar dinner for the first time on July 5, prompted by mosque president Ali Kadri’s desire for a “grassroots” event open to all.
“It will bring people together. People will trust and know what Islam is from the muslims,” he said.
“There’s a lot of talk about Islam out there but a lot of information out there is not authentic.”
Mr Gelim said it was important to help Queenslanders learn more about their Muslim neighbours by fostering a sense of unity and belonging was also critical to helping Muslim families better integrate with their community.
“When we come together with the people, you know we have a lot of commonalities rather than differences, maybe more than 99 per cent we have commonalities, we are discussing about one percent differences,” he said.
“When we come together with people, as a Muslim we are learning a lot.
“I am organising (these events) for more than 10 years.
“I learn a lot from politicians, ministers, journalists, from media people, academics, and when we open our houses, also, host family, they learn a lot.”