Who is my neighbour?

As-Salamu `alaykum

May God bless you and give you happiness. A lifetime of happiness as you grow to know Him more and joyfully serve Him in His world.

Australasian Ethnicities

Today, immigration policy in Australia celebrates multiculturalism and promotes residency status among people of widely varying ethnic backgrounds. The country now celebrates its differences and boasts its cultural diversity with more than 200 languages spoken. 468,000 Australians recorded themselves as Muslims in the last census from more than 58 Islamic countries.

New Zealand has more ethnicities than there are countries in the world, the 2013 census has revealed. In total, 213 ethnic groups were identified in the census, whereas there are 196 countries recognised by Statistics New Zealand. In New Zealand there were 46,600 who recorded themselves as Muslims in the last census.

In both nations it is difficult to know how many ethnicities there are. Both seem to record people by country of origin rather than ethnicity. There are 28,000 ethnic people groups in the world. Many countries have hundreds of ethnic people groups such as Indonesia. But both Australia and New Zealand record a total number of nationalities in their land as just over 200 each. It has been estimated that there are at least 600 ethnicities living in Australasia.

Why is Australasia a good place for Muslims?

“Since stepping off that plane two and a half years ago, I’ve learnt that all my initial worries and fears were unnecessary,” says Miss Siti Mokhsin. “Being a Muslim student in hijab has not deprived me of the privileges every other student is entitled to because, similar to Singapore, Melbourne is a very multicultural society.

“If anything, Melbourne — and by extension, Australia — is a place where diversity is embraced and I hope future Muslim students coming to study in this city will have as pleasant an experience as I have had in the last two and a half years that I have been an international student here.”

Dr Ali, a University Professor, and a Muslim at the Auckland University of Technology, stated that Muslims should be very happy to live in New Zealand for three reasons:

  1. you get to support the All Blacks a winning team – it’s great to support a winner
  2. your children get to attend multicultural schools where all ethnicities are respected
  3. New Zealand has based its culture on the teaching of Jesus Christ p.b.u.h, and Jesus said ‘Love your neighbour’.

When Dr Ali investigated the Holy Bible he found that ‘your neighbour’ is not just the person who lives next door, but all people living in New Zealand. So as good Muslims he implored all Muslims to love all people and leave behind the racial conflicts of their homeland. This, he said, was what makes New Zealand a great place to live.

Warm-hearted, welcoming societies

The people organising and hosting ‘Neighbours’ Conferences’ share the sentiments and observations of Dr Ali and want to make our communities a loving and warm-hearted multi-cultural society based on the teachings of Jesus Christ.