Fawad Ahmed, Henny Hunter, Fitra Hidayat, Rod Medew, Sheeraz Sirajur Raheen, Imam Wadood  Janud and Dave Quaile at the Muslims Down Under event.
Fawad Ahmed, Henny Hunter, Fitra Hidayat, Rod Medew, Sheeraz Sirajur Raheen, Imam Wadood Janud and Dave Quaile at the Muslims Down Under event. Brian Cassidy

Event puts Islam under the spotlight

WHEN people hear the words Muslim or Islam, a lot of the time terrorism comes to mind.

However, one group is doing their part to put those misconceptions aside by sitting down and answering questions about the Islamic faith.

Muslims Down Under have spent last week in Bundaberg and held a free Question Islam event at Take the Plunge cafe.

The event gave Bundy residents the chance to go along and ask questions about the faith and also get clarification on things they didn't understand.

Imam Minister of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Queensland and Northern Territory Wadood Janud talking to people was important for helping them understand the misconceptions of Islam.

"The purpose has been to tackle those misconceptions through actual dialogue and physical interaction," he said.

"We've come across people who have never met a Muslim, or never seen a Muslim and who didn't know anything about Islam, their knowledge is only extended from the afternoon news.

"This trip revolved around education and awareness of the true representation of Islam."

He revealed some of the most common questions they have been asked during their time in Bundaberg.

"One of the most common things we're asked is if we're Australian and we tell them of course, we were born Australian, Islam is only a faith that we follow," he said.

"We also get asked "why is there so much hate around the world? These atrocities being committed why are they such a representation of Islam?" and we've countered those questions by sitting down with people.

"They're (the sessions) so important, especially in the current political climate we are in. There's so much misinformation around social media."

He said they had their reservations of what to expect when they first arrived a week ago.

"We received threats online, so we weren't really sure what to expect," he said.

"But the response from the people of Bundaberg has been nothing short of amazing, people have come up to us, they've hugged us, they've told us what we are doing is important.

"We've got a van that we're travelling in that says "Muslims for Peace", "Muslims for Loyalty" and people have been stopping just to appreciate what we're doing."

Bargara man Rod Medew, who has an interest in religion, attended the event to hear what kind of questions were asked.

He also learnt a couple of things from the session.

"I think interpretations of the Quran are part of the problem," he said.

"There are some words in Islam that can't be translated to English which can cause a bit of a problem, the internet isn't always accurate.

"I also learnt that Bunabergians are very generous people."

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