Foad Munir, Qaid Majlis Brisbane, Australia
Tamborine Mountain is a locality on a plateau in the Scenic Rim region of Queensland, Australia, and the site of Queensland Jamaat’s latest True Islam exhibition held in March 2022. Home to more than 7500 people, it is a rural area located 36 km away from Bait-ul-Masroor Mosque in Logan.
Tamborine Mountain held its annual show on 19 March 2022 which allowed us a perfect opportunity to bring the True Islam exhibition to this part of Queensland to promote the peaceful teachings of Islam and educate Australians about the Holy Quran and its teachings.
Shows like these are held everywhere in Australia annually and attract most of the town or city’s population, especially families which makes tabligh more effective as the message of Islam is communicated to more people with less effort.
Setting up the exhibition, applying to the organisers and then getting the instructions and details of the exhibition space was information we needed to acquire. Getting such information is usually effortless but proved to be the biggest challenge as the organising team was quite small and communication was slow with no official confirmation of the stall other than a few text messages, despite being in touch for more than two months. This worried us a fair bit as our target of setting up at least one exhibition a month was at stake until the last day when finally, a welcome email was received.
After loading the van, the night before, two volunteers left for the show after Fajr prayer from the mosque and we arrived around 7 am. Our team got a space next to the entrance of the show, which meant that everyone walking into the show saw our stall and was greeted by the message “Messiah Has Come”.
The stall was set up and completed well before 10 am (the designated time to complete the setup) with the help of three other volunteers who arrived later. This was important as the public could enter the exhibition at this time. Since the show included different events ranging from eating competitions to art and craft and cooking, it is a big attraction for families and around 2000 people attend the event.
The space was smaller than our previous two exhibitions and we were allowed a 6x3m area. We tried to organise a bigger space and offered to pay but this was not accepted. Two tables were set up with six copies of the Holy Quran on them, three translations were chosen in Asian languages such as Māori and three in Germanic languages such as English. These were selected based on the demographic of the town’s residents.
Due to this exhibition and being part of a show where local vendors were selling assorted items, we also made space for one table with books for sale. These included The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam, World Crisis and the Pathway to Peace, Life of Muhammad and Islam’s Response to Contemporary Issues.
Four banners, which were chosen from the local Muslims Down Under and True Islam campaigns, were placed at the back. One Muslims Down Under banner highlighted what values Australian Muslims have and how they are the same as other Australians. The other encouraged visitors to ask any questions regarding Islam. The True Islam campaign banners highlighted how the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa was a mercy for mankind and how Islam guarantees fundamental freedoms for all people. The “Messiah Has Come” banner was placed facing towards the entrance and right next to the thoroughfare for visibility to any passers-by.
Due to the proximity of the exhibition to the entrance and other attractions offered at the show, this exhibition was more enjoyable than the previous two exhibitions this year. One such attraction was the drills being run by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services close to us, it pulled a lot of people and they all had to walk past us on the way and back.
The event was promoted on Facebook and Instagram through multiple accounts of the community. Between 25 to 30 people attended our exhibition, asked us different questions and took their time going through all the content on display.
This event was successful and had a relaxed atmosphere, and a few interactions of note included a stall vendor buying the book Life of Muhammad and then giving us free cake. A person asked us if we were getting any traction and if anyone had bothered us? We were happy to report that all interactions had been incredibly positive. A lady knew a female member from our mosque, spent considerable time looking at all the banners and loved that we were there.
May Allah enable us to continue this effort and make it even better in the future.