Toowoomba Muslims organise Annual Toowoomba International Food Festival at the Mosque premises. Many dignitaries and members of the local community participate in the events over food, friendship, and faith.
City Mosque food festival crowds educated and entertained at annual event
Crowds who attended the Toowoomba Mosque’s seventh International Food Festival and open day left the event not only entertained, but also educated about the Islamic community in Toowoomba.
USQ professor and Islamic Society president Dr Shahjahan Khan knows better than anyone that a community divided is a community in distress.
Dr Khan’s solutions to misunderstandings between community groups came down to just a few simple elements: food, friendship and faith.
The Toowoomba Mosque’s seventh annual International Food Festival drew crowds from across the town.
One special feature of the day was a 100 year old, handwritten copy of the Qu’ran, provided by George Helon.
Dr Khan said the annual celebration was an important way of breaking down barriers between community groups in Toowoomba.
“A lot of people do not know a lot about Islam,” he said.
“They might have a misunderstanding or questions, and we want to give them an opportunity to come here and meet us and talk to us and ask the questions so we can know each other.
“This is our seventh one here so we do it every year after the mosque was established, and we’ll continue to do that which is important.
“There are misgivings, misconceptions, and misunderstandings everywhere so the more we can work to remove all the fear of the unknown and move closer to each other, respect each other and know each other a bit more.”
Food stalls and activities for the children kept families busy, and presentations from community leaders and academics enlightened and educated attendees throughout the day.
Guests were also given an inside tour of the mosque and its rebuilding efforts after the fires in 2015.
Dr Khan said he was pleased with the way people responded to the open day, and hoped it had helped educate the people of Toowoomba about Islam and their practices.
“Toowoomba is a lucky city to be united and to live in peace and harmony,” he said.
“The mosque is contributing towards that.
“We are always open, participating and engaging with the community.
“This gives an opportunity for us to know each other and get out the fear of the unknown.
“We’re all human beings, we all react similarly to the bad things and good things.”