Kangaroo Island and Semaphore Street Fair: Ahmadis present Islamic teachings at the largest street fair in Adelaide, Australia

Dr Sharif Rasel, Secretary Tabligh, Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Adelaide West

Semaphore Street Fair is the largest street fair in Adelaide, with more than 50000 people visiting this popular event every year on the last Sunday in November. It is held in one of the most iconic tourist sites in Adelaide – the north-western suburb of Semaphore, which is famous for its family-friendly beach. The street fair began in 1994 and today, it invites nearly 300 stalls to its award-winning annual event.  

Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya South Australia participated in this well-attended event for the first time. A three-member team from Jamaat Adelaide West set up the stall and missionary, Atif Ahmed Zahid Sahib, local president, Dr Munawar Ahmad Rana Sahib, and naib president, Mehmood Qadir Khan Sahib along with four other Jamaat members joined the team to carry out preaching activities in the bookstall. 

The messages on the marquee – “Muslims for Peace”, “Muslims for Loyalty”, and “Love for All, Hatred for None” – easily got the attention of the visitors. They were visible from a distance due to the location of the stall. Thousands of visitors passed by the stall and briefly stopped to read the peaceful message of the stall. Besides, hundreds of visitors interacted with the community members and thanked them for this outreach initiative. The visitors were interested in learning more about the religion of Islam and the Holy Quran. Further, they asked different questions to better understand the philosophy of Islam. 60 books, four copies of the Holy Quran and hundreds of pamphlets were sold and distributed in a busy day of engagement with the visitors. The interactions and discussions held at the fair helped spread the peaceful teachings of Islam among thousands of people.  

Successful interactions led to many tabligh contacts. One of them showed his interest in Islam Ahmadiyyat and informed the community members that he would first compare Jamaat books with other Islamic books. 

Following the successful bookstall at Semaphore Street Fair, members of the Jamaat made their first-ever tabligh trip to Kangaroo Island from 29 November to 1 December 2022. Kangaroo Island is the third-largest island in Australia which lies off the mainland by a 45-minute ferry journey. A few thousand people live on this 4,416 square-kilometre island. Penneshaw, American River and Kingscote are its major towns. 

Jamaat members held street campaigns in these towns to reach out to the local communities. The members distributed pamphlets and interacted with people to deliver the peaceful teachings of Islam. The team also handed out a copy of the Holy Quran and some Jamaat books to Kingscote Public Library. The library management appreciated the efforts of the Jamaat members. 

The team also visited the Kangaroo Island community centre, known to the locals as “Junction” and donated a copy of the Holy Quran and different Jamaat books, including The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam, Some Distinctive Features of Islam, World Crisis and the Pathway to Peace

The trip aided in the effective propagation of Islam Ahmadiyyat’s message to this isolated island.

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