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  • Australia Halal Travel Guide by eHalal Group Australia

Australia Halal Travel Guide

Islam in Australia

In Australia, Islam is a minority religion. According to the 2021 Australian Census, there were 604,200 people who identified themselves as Muslim, representing 2.6% of the total population. This was an increase of over 15% from the previous census 5 years earlier, where the Muslim population share was 2.2%. However, some estimate that more than half of the earlier figure were non-practicing cultural Muslims from all denominations and sects of Islam present in Australia.

Islam, including all its denominations and sects, is the second largest religious group in Australia after Christianity, which represents 52.2% of the total population, including practicing and non-practicing cultural Christians. Muslim community growth trends during the most recent census period are attributed to relatively high birth rates and recent immigration patterns. Adherents of Islam represent the majority of the population in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, an external territory of Australia.

The vast majority of Muslims in Australia belong to the Sunni and Shia denominations, with followers of each split into different schools of thought within Islamic jurisprudence. There are also practitioners of other smaller denominations of Islam, such as Ahmadiyya Muslim Australians of various national backgrounds, Ibadi Muslim Australians of Omani descent, non-denominational Muslims, and approximately 20,000 Druze Australians whose religion emerged as an offshoot of Islam. There are also Sufi minorities among Muslim practitioners in Australia.

The Australian Muslim community is not a monolithic community, as it is diverse racially, ethnically, culturally, and linguistically. Different Muslim groups within the community espouse parallel non-religious ethnic identities with related non-Muslim counterparts, either within Australia or abroad.

In the 2016 census, the Muslim population numbered 604,235 individuals, with the majority living in Greater Sydney (42%), followed by Greater Melbourne (31%) and Greater Perth (8%). The states and territories with the highest proportion of Muslims are New South Wales (3.58%) and Victoria (3.32%), whereas those with the lowest are Queensland (0.95%) and Tasmania (0.49%).

The Muslim population in Greater Melbourne is 4.2%, with many Muslims from Bosnian and Turkish backgrounds. Melbourne’s Australian Muslims reside primarily in the northern suburbs surrounding Broadmeadows (mostly Turkish), Coburg, Brunswick, and Epping (mostly Lebanese), and a few in the outer southern suburbs such as Noble Park and Dandenong (mainly Bosnian).

There are few Muslims in rural areas, with the exceptions of the sizeable Turkish and Albanian community in Shepparton, Victoria, which has the state’s oldest mosque, and Malays in Katanning, Western Australia. A community of Iraqis has settled in Cobram on the Murray River in Victoria. There has been an established Albanian Muslim community in Mareeba, Far North Queensland, since the 1920s, where they established Queensland’s second oldest mosque.

Perth also has a Muslim community, focused in and around the suburb of Thornlie, where there is a mosque. Perth’s Australian Islamic School has around 2,000 students on three campuses. Mirrabooka and Beechboro have predominantly Bosnian communities. The oldest mosque in Perth is the Perth Mosque on William Street in Northbridge, and other mosques in Perth are located in Rivervale, Mirrabooka, Beechboro, and Hepburn.

There are also communities of Muslims from Turkey, the Indian subcontinent (Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh), and Southeast Asia in Sydney and Melbourne. The Turkish communities are around Auburn, New South Wales, and Meadow Heights and Roxburgh Park

Muslim Friendly Travel in Australia

Last Updated on Mon 14 Shaban 1444AH 6-3-2023AD

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