Understanding Islam workshop

By Gillian Saxon

Have you ever wanted to understand more about Islam but didn’t know how to find out more? Or perhaps you’ve wanted to ask what Sharia Law is, why the hijab (head scarf) is important or what it’s like to be a Muslim in Australia in 2016? Our Welcome Dinner Project facilitators did, so on Wednesday 19th October, we held an Understanding Islam workshop led by gracious hosts Saara, Aneesa and Livia from Benevolence Australia.

Over three wonderful hours (not nearly long enough), Saara and Aneesa gave volunteers an impassioned education in the history and teachings of Islam as well as explained how WDP volunteers can create an inclusive experience for our Muslim Welcome Dinner guests. They also delivered a rare insight into the Muslim experience of living in Australia today in the face of negative coverage and political rhetoric in the media. We were moved as Livia shared her personal journey in converting to Islam: from initial curiosity to becoming a practicing Muslim and finally through to the acceptance of her faith from her loved ones.

Volunteers gained much more than an introduction to Islam, they walked away inspired and uplifted by the courage, wisdom and generosity shown by Saara, Aneesa and Livia as they busted the myths around Islam and graciously answered the difficult questions. We thank Benevolence Australia for hosting our workshop and look forward to seeing Saara, Aneesa and Livia and a Welcome Dinner very soon.

For anyone interested in having Benevolence Australia visit your organisation, school or community group, please contact: info@BenevolenceAustralia.org

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