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Australia’s first Islamic Museum opens in Melbourne

Constructed in Melbourne with a budget of $10 million, the museum presents the tenets of Islam through various forms of arts.

By Rizwan Khantik / Times of Ummah / 04 Mar 2014

Making a fusion between Islamic heritage and Australian culture, Australia’s first Islamic Museum has opened its doors to the public to showcase the Islamic culture and present the true-face of Islam.

“I think art is more universal and can really bring people from all faiths and cultures together and once you learn and understand you’ll actually celebrate these differences,” Moustafa Fahour, the Islamic museum co-founder, told ABC on Monday, March 3.

It’s about creating a “fusion between Australian infrastructure but a lot of Islamic principles, from traditional calligraphy to geometric tile patterns,” the co-founder added.

Planned since 2010, the dream of launching Australia’s first-ever Islamic Museum came true this month in a bid to highlight Muslim contributions in Australia and defy misconceptions about Islam.

Constructed in Melbourne with a budget of $10 million, the museum presents the tenets of Islam through various forms of arts.

The Museum is expected to enhance Australian’s understanding of Islam and help build bridges of communication.

Moreover, it includes galleries that display Islamic contributions to engineering, architecture and arts.

“To really open the doors on what Islam is and the positive contribution Muslims have made to civilization and more importantly to Australia,” Fahour added.

The iconic design of the building merges between rusted red steel and a sleek grey front decorated with Arabic script quoting a Qur’anic verse reading: “so narrate to them the stories so that upon them they may reflect”.

The museum offers visitors an opportunity to explore the true meanings of misunderstood terms like jihad and hajj.

The project is an exercise in “enhancing the social cohesive and multicultural landscape,” Fahour said.

“And really give a window into the Islamic life and the Australian Muslim history and contributions they’ve made to Australia and to civilization.”

Muslims, who have been in Australia for more than 200 years, make up 1.7 percent of its 20-million population.

Islam is the country’s second largest religion after Christianity.

 

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