Download the FREE SBS Radio App for a better listening experience
Islam in Australia is a minority religious affiliation.
Among the early Muslims were the "Afghan" camel drivers who migrated to and settled in Australia during the mid to late 19th century. Between 1860 and the 1890s a number of Central Asians came to Australia to work as camel drivers. Camels were first imported into Australia in 1840, initially for exploring the arid interior and later for the camel trains that were uniquely suited to the demands of Australia's vast deserts.
Although they came from several countries, they were usually known in Australia as 'Afghans' and they brought with them the first formal establishment of Islam in Australia.
The first mosque in Australia was built in 1861 at Marree, South Australia. The Great Mosque of Adelaide was built in 1888 by the descendants of the Afghan cameleers.
One of the earliest recorded Islamic festivals celebrated in Australia occurred on 23 July 1884 when 70 Muslims assembled for Eid prayers at Albert Park in Melbourne. An 1884 newspaper report in the Auckland Star records, “During the whole service the worshippers wore a remarkably reverential aspect." (Wikipedia)
Please listen to the full report here