Volunteers from the Ahmadi Muslim community, a minority population in Australia, have been hailed by Clean Up Australia Day organisers and the public alike for their efforts.
By
Sam Carroll

7 Mar 2017 - 4:20 PM  UPDATED 7 Mar 2017 - 4:57 PM

Clean Up Australia Day’s leaderboard, which details the top fundraising sites and organisations with the most registered volunteers, has found that Australia’s Ahmadi Muslim organisations were among the most giving during the 2017 event, held last weekend.

Ahmadi Muslim groups held the top four spots in both categories, with organisations split between the New South Wales, South Australia, Queensland and Victoria chapters.

More than 1,000 volunteers from the Muslim group worked at 26 Clean Up sites throughout the nation, offering their time to help clean up their country,

The four state-based sites finished ahead of Sydney-based ‘Friends of Cabarita Park and Wharf’ in terms of money raised, with the NSW chapter of the Muslim group earning more than three times more for Clean Up Australia than the non-affiliated group.

The NSW chapter also came out on top with the most registered volunteers, totalling 157 more individuals than the Kiama-based Berkeley Road group.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Association Australia has been involved in the Clean Up campaign since its inaugural event in 1989, with the organisation thanking them for their continued effort in a post in social media.

Speaking with SBS on the weekend, National President of Ahmadi Youth, Waqas Ahmad discussed the significance of the event for the Muslim community.

"It is a fundamental teaching of Islam - our religion and the practice of the founder of Islam, the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon Him, who said that cleanliness is part of your faith," Ahmad said.

"So we take up any initiative, which involves cleaning of not only ourselves as individuals - our inner-selves and our outer-selves, but also our surroundings, our homes and where we work and then our country at large.

"So we live in a country - Australia - which is a beautiful country. It [the group's involvement] started with this initiative a long time ago and just to keep to our faith and practice the teaching of the Prophet Muhammad, it is a very important part of our faith to take part in this event - not only as Muslims but as Australians."

Pauline Hanson recently appeared on the ABC TV program Insiders, claiming that Muslims don’t ‘assimilate’ into Australian life.

"They hate Western society. They want to change us…, “ Hanson told ABC TV program Insiders.  

“If you are going to have different races that come into Australia, they've got to actually assimilate and blend into our society and become Australians," she said, insisting that wasn't happening in some areas and promising to "keep an eye on this".

#DearSister: Muslim women are using this Twitter hashtag to highlight prejudice on social media
A group of Muslim women have been using the hashtag #DearSister on Twitter to highlight real-life examples of prejudice they receive on social media from some members of their own community.
Nazeem Hussain's heart-warming TV speech reveals how it felt to be a Muslim during Lindt Cafe siege
Comedian Nazeem Hussain has used his time as a reality television contestant to deliver a heart-warming speech on how his sister, who is also Muslim, was treated on the day of the Lindt Chocolate Cafe siege, 2014.
Faith in politics: Australia's first Muslim MP
Ed Husic is known to some as 'the minister for basketball', to others as the first federal MP sworn in on the Quran. He became the first ever Muslim frontbencher under Kevin Rudd. What next for an outspoken Gen Xer with a friend on the wrong side of parliament?