THE public is invited to celebrate Australia Day at Baitul Huda Mosque on Sunday, January 25.
Organisers are anticipating more than 1000 people will gather at the mosque in Marsden Park for the celebration.
The mosque’s national external affairs director, Mirza Ramzan Sharif said Muslim leaders will use the event to send a positive message of peace.
“We’ll have formal speeches, a lot of interaction between the broader community and our community … we will bring the community together basically, like we do every year,” Mr Sharif said.
Everyone is welcome.
Mr Sharif said following the Martin Place seige and Charlie Hebdo killings in Paris, the celebrations come at a time when they are “most needed” by those of the Muslim faith.
“On the 13th of December we celebrated the 25th anniversary of [our] mosque and just two days later we learnt of the event that took place in Martin Place,” Mr Sharif said.
The theme of the Australia Day celebrations will be ‘thank you Australia’.
“We want our people to understand that it is not about what Australia has given us but what we have given Australia,” Mr Sharif said.
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He said it was frustrating for Muslims to see others commit acts of violence in the name of Islam.
“These events have nothing to do with Islam, these global events and atrocities that we see,” he said.
“We want to promote and instill in the minds of the audience and the children the saying of the holy prophet, ‘Love of your country is part of one’s faith’.
“Not a single person with this twisted, brainwashed mentality comes from our community.”
The mosque’s Australia Day celebration will take place on Monday, January 25, 5pm to 7pm at Baitul Huda Mosque, 45 Hollinsworth Road, Marsden Park.
Visitors can go on a guided tour of the mosque, and there will be guest speakers and refreshments included.