Islamic organisations in Australia

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Islamic organisations in Australia include a wide range of groups and associations run and supported by the Islamic community in Australia. Organisations include major community councils, local organisations, mosques and schools. Most Australian Muslims are Sunni, with Shia then Sufi and Ahmadiyya as minorities.[1]

Australian Muslim, Irfan Yusuf says that Western Muslim organisations, including those in Australia, are predominantly Sunni.[2]

Major organisations[edit]

Australian Federation of Islamic Councils[edit]

The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC) (also known as Muslims Australia) was founded in 1964 as an umbrella group for various Islamic groups and councils, and is Australia's most important Islamic organisation. The AFIC sees its role to represent Islam and Muslims of Australia to the Australian government and other bodies nationally and internationally. AFIC coordinates and provides resources for activities of its State Islamic Councils and member Islamic societies.

The AFIC has come under scrutiny under claims of mismanagement of Islamic schools run by the organisation. Claims range from financial impropriety, unfair dismissals of staff, gender discrimination and the hiring of teachers with fundamentalist or extremist backgrounds.[3]

Lebanese Muslim Association[edit]

The Lebanese Muslim Association is an Australian non-profit welfare organisation based in Lakemba, a south-western suburb of Sydney. The Association was founded in the early 1960s as a community project to service the social, religious, recreational and educational needs of local Muslims. The group operates the Lakemba Mosque which has 5,000 members.

Australian National Imams Council[edit]

The Australian National Imams Council was formed in 2006 during a meeting of more than 80 imams which had gathered to discuss the crisis created by comments made by Taj El-Din Hilaly.[4]

Minor groups and associations[edit]

Crescents of Brisbane[edit]

Crescents of Brisbane

Crescents of Brisbane was formed in 2004 as a community-based organisation promoting healthy lifestyle through sport, entertainment, education and culture, among the Muslim community in Queensland.[5] They publish an e-newsletter on their website called "Crescent Community News" every Friday/Saturday that includes general news about the Muslim community, as well as local events and activities.[6]

Darulfatwa – Islamic High Council of Australia[edit]

Darulfatwa - Islamic High Council of Australia was established in 2004 as an, "independent and moderate, symbol of hope for Australian Sunni Muslims". It is also known as Darul-Fatwa and provides fatwas. It is based in Bankstown, NSW[7]

Islamic Community Milli Görüş Australia[edit]

Islamic Community Milli Görüş Australia (ICMG) is an Islamic community which comprehensively organises the religious lives of Muslims. The ICMG not only aims at maintaining the Islamic teachings, proclaiming the Islamic creed and communicating religious duties resulting from that proclamation. Other than that the ICMG addresses all issues regarding Muslims while at the same time representing their interests. It is the goal of the ICMG to improve the living circumstances of Muslims as well as to provide for their fundamental rights.[citation needed]

Islamic Friendship Association of Australia[edit]

The Islamic Friendship Association of Australia (IFAA) is an organisation founded by Keysar Trad, a former director of the Lebanese Muslim Association.[8]

Islamic Information and Services Network of Australasia[edit]

The Islamic Information and Services Network of Australasia (IISNA) is an independent Islamic organisation based in Broadmeadows, Victoria.

Islamic Museum of Australia[edit]

The Islamic Museum of Australia (IMA) is a not-for-profit foundation[9] noted for establishing the first Islamic Museum in Australia. The museum showcases the artistic heritage and historical contributions of Australian Muslims and those from abroad through the display of artwork and historical artefacts.[10]

Islamic Research and Educational Academy[edit]

The Islamic Research and Educational Academy (IREA) is an Islamic dawah organisation based in Hoppers Crossing, Victoria.

Islamic Women's Welfare Council[edit]

The Islamic Women's Welfare Council of Victoria (IWWC) is a community welfare organisation supporting Islamic women in Victoria. Founded in 1991, the group's director is Joumanah El Matrah. In 2011, the group was renamed to the Australian Muslim Women's Centre for Human Rights (AMWCHR).[11][12]

Muslim Aid Australia[edit]

Muslim Aid Australia (MAA) is as an Australian-based relief organisation whose main work is humanitarian relief in Muslim countries.[13] Founded in 1989,[14] the organisation is a branch of Muslim Aid UK.[15] The group has raised funds from Australians for the purpose of assisting victims of the 2004 tsunami in South East Asia.[16] The group has been criticised for not providing enough transparency in how funds were distributed.[16]

Muslim Business Network[edit]

The Muslim Business Network (MBN) was established in 2006 with the aim of creating a network for Muslim businesspersons and to advance the business interests of Muslims.[17] The group's presidents include Farouk Adam[18] and Mahomed Khatree.[19]

Muslim Community Reference Group[edit]

The Muslim Community Reference Group was an advisory body to the Australian federal government, set up by the Howard Government, from mid-2005 to mid-2006.

Muslim Women's Association[edit]

The Muslim Women's Association (MWA) was formed in 1983. The executive director is Maha Abdo.[8] The group's president is Joumana Harris.[20] The group initially included many women activists from Lebanon but women from Turkey, Singapore, Egypt and other Muslim countries participated as well. The group received support of the Sheik Taj El Din Hilaly. The group supports women who suffer domestic violence or other forms of abuse at home. The MWA has also established child care centres in local communities. The group supports the Islamic women's magazine Reflections.[8] According to the group's 2013 annual report, the yearly budget for the organisation is approximately $950,000 (AUD).[20]

Muslim Women's National Network Australia[edit]

The Muslim Women's National Network Australia (MWNNA) is a Sydney-based association representing a network of progressive Muslim women's organisations and individual Muslim women. MWNNA runs events and projects for Muslim women across all ethnic backgrounds, and represents their views to media and government organisations. It was founded in 1990 by Aziza Abdel-Halim AM, and Zubeda Raihman is the current President.

National Zakat Foundation[edit]

The National Zakat Foundation is one of a number of Australian Islamic organisations established to distribute Zakat to each of the eight categories of needy Muslims.[21]

Radical Islamic groups[edit]

A number of Australians, from these organisations, have been identified as radicalising youth which in some instances has in resulted in people joining ISIS.[22][23]

Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah Association[edit]

The Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah Association of Australia (ASWJA) was founded by Melbourne sheik Mohammed Omran.[24] Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah is a generic term referring to Sunni Islam. Those who adopt it as organisational name, do so as adherents of the Wahabi movement.[25]

Global Islamic Youth Centre[edit]

The Global Islamic Youth Centre is an organisation founded by Feiz Mohammad in Liverpool, Sydney. It is linked to the ASWJA.[26] Local residents have opposed the group on the premise that it would seek to spread a fundamentalist form of Islam.[27] Opposition education spokesman Andrew Stoner said the NSW government must closely watch the school and what it may teach, to ensure that it would not teach the "extremist views" and "messages of hate" to young school children.[28]

Hizb ut-Tahrir[edit]

The Hizb ut-Tahrir is a radical Muslim group operating in Australia. The group adheres to a form of Islamic fundamentalism and has been reported calling for Australian Muslims to reject democracy[29] and not to co-operate with Australian law enforcement officers.[30] A speaker associated with the group was criticised for his views on honour killings, leading to a cancellation of one of his talks.[31] An Australian Hizb ut-Tahrir spokesman has, "threatened to make Jews pay with blood".[32] The group has come under scrutiny of the Australian government although no legal action has been taken against it.[33][34] Columnist, Janet Albrechtsen says, "the young men from Hizb ut-Tahrir are a slippery bunch. They dance around our laws. So let's expose, debate, confront every one of their utterances instead of ignoring them".[35]

Islamic Youth Movement[edit]

The Islamic Youth Movement is an offshoot group of the ASWJA.[36] The group was raided by the ASIO following 11 September 2001.[8] The group runs the Sydney-based online publication of Nida'ul Islam, "The Call of Islam."[8] The publication is noted for releasing a number of interviews with persons associated with Islamic terror groups, including al-Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden. The group's publication has been criticised for publishing inflammatory material condemning the West, Christianity and Judaism.[37]

Islamic militant groups[edit]

"Ahmed Y" group[edit]

An Algerian man, known as "Ahmed Y," arrived in Australia in the late 1980s. Ahmed established a small militant group in Australia in 2001 and supported the idea of establishing an Islamic State in Australia and the use of violence against Australians.[38]:14

Benbrika group (Melbourne)[edit]

A group led by Algerian cleric Abdul Nacer Benbrika in Melbourne was active until Australian police arrested its members in 2005.[39]

Cheikho group (Sydney)[edit]

A group led by Khaled Cheikho was active in Sydney until the Australian police arrested its members in 2005 under Operation Pendennis.[40]


The Lashkar-e-Taiba, a proscribed terrorist organisation operating in India and Pakistan, set up a terror cell in Australia.[41][42] French convert to Islam, Willie Brigitte, accused of planning an attack in Australia, was trained by Lashkar-e-taiba.[43]

Mantiqi 4 (Jemaah Islamiah)[edit]

A short-lived terror cell, known as Mantiqi 4, existed in Australia for several years. The group was sponsored by Jemaah Islamiah (JI), a terrorist group known for their attacks in Indonesia, and was established by Abdul Rahim Ayub, a member of Jemaah Islamiah.[44][45]:111 Ayub resided in Perth during the late 1990s all while being an active JI member, travelling and attending the group's leadership conferences in Indonesia.[46] In contrast to the Jemaah Islamiah's other cells in Southeast Asia, the Mantiqi 4 cell was less of a focus for the organisation.[47]:38 The activities of the Australian branch of JI included fundraising among the local Indonesian community in Australia. Jemaah Islamiah leadership also expressed intent on identifying targets in Australia to be attacked by Al Qaeda.[47]:128


The Al-Shabaab terror group is believed to have been behind the Holsworthy Barracks terror plot.[48][49][50][51]

Syrian syndicate[edit]

A group referred to as the "Syrian syndicate" has been investigated for sending Australian Muslims to fight in the Syrian Civil War. Australian Counterterrorism Police have investigated Wassim Fayad in connection to an attempt to ram an ATM during the 2011 Auburn riots. It is suspected that the funds were to be used in connection to local efforts of involvement in the Syrian conflict.[52]

Outlawed terrorist organisations[edit]

As at January 2015, there were 20 organisations designated and banned, by a court or a government department, for active involvement in terrorism. All but one of those organisations are Islamist. Identification of terrorist organisations may result from a prosecution for a terrorist offence, or from a listing determined by the Attorney-General of Australia.[53]


A listing of the 384 Australian Mosques, Masjids and Musallahs is maintained by Islamiaonline.[54]


Australasian Muslim Times[edit]

The Australasian Muslim Times[55] is a Sunni-based community newspaper presenting news and views using multimedia technologies.[56]

Muslim Community Radio[edit]

The Muslim Community Radio (2MFM)[57] is a community radio station based in Chester Hill, NSW. It is co-located with Darulfatwa - Islamic High Council of Australia and Salamah College.

One Path Network[edit]

One Path Network[58] was established in 2015, "to counter the mainstream media's treatment of Islam in Australia". It is a Sunni-based.[59]


Islamic schools in Australia are predominantly located in New South Wales and Victoria.

New South Wales[edit]



South Australia[edit]

Western Australia[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Islam in Australia – Demographic Profile of Muslim Youth" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 February 2014. Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  2. ^ Yusuf, Irfan (1 September 2014). "How and why Shiites are sidelined from Australian public life". Crikey. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  3. ^ Ray, Chris. The controversies raging inside our Islamic schools." The Sydney Morning Herald. 24 October 2015.
  4. ^ Duffy, Conor (28 October 2006). "Reclaim the Streets rally protests Hilali comments". ABC. 
  5. ^ "Griffith News | Peace award a shared honour for Muslim leader". Retrieved 27 October 2014. 
  6. ^ "CCN". Retrieved 2016-12-03. 
  7. ^ "Darulfatwa – About us". Retrieved 15 February 2015. 
  8. ^ a b c d e Jakubowicz, Andrew. Political Islam and the future of Australian multiculturalism Accessed 30 August 2014.
  9. ^ "The trustee for the foundation for the islamic museum of australia". Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC). 19 May 2010. Retrieved 28 June 2014. 
  10. ^ Farouque, Farah (2 May 2011). "Planned museum hopes to shed light on Islam". The Age. 
  11. ^ DUNN, MARK. Growing number of Muslim men and multiple wives exploiting loophoole for taxpayer handouts." HERALD SUN. 5 March 2010.
  12. ^ "About AMWCHR." Australian Muslim Women's Centre for Human Rights. Accessed 20 September 2014.
  13. ^ Riddell, Peter. "2 Islam as aid and development." Handbook of Research on Development and Religion (2013): 17.
  14. ^ "About Muslim Aid – Muslim Aid Australia". Retrieved 27 October 2014. 
  15. ^ Blackburn, Chris. "Terrorism in Bangladesh: The Region and Beyond." In Policy Exchange Conference in London on November, vol. 14. 2006.
  16. ^ a b "Tsunami Swamps Aid Agency Accountability: Government Waives Requirements". Australian Accounting Review. 17: 4–12. doi:10.1111/j.1835-2561.2007.tb00449.x. Retrieved 6 April 2015. 
  17. ^ "Faris, Nezar, and Ken Parry. "Islamic organizational leadership within a Western society: The problematic role of external context." The Leadership Quarterly 22, no. 1 (2011): 132–151". The Leadership Quarterly. 22: 132–151. doi:10.1016/j.leaqua.2010.12.012. Retrieved 6 April 2015. 
  18. ^ "CCN0377". Retrieved 27 October 2014. 
  19. ^ "The Courier-Mail". Retrieved 27 October 2014. 
  20. ^ a b "30th Annual Report. Muslim Women's Association. 2013" (PDF). Retrieved 6 April 2015. 
  21. ^ "National Zakat Foundation". National Zakat Foundation. Retrieved 15 February 2015. 
  22. ^ "Hate preachers in Australia uncovered after fiery Lateline interview". News Ltd. 10 October 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2015. 
  23. ^ Hills, Melissa (8 November 2014). "'You CAN go to paradise even if you are killed by a woman': Aussie hate preacher dismisses ISIS fears of 'virgin-less heaven' if they are killed by Kurdish female fighters". Daily Mail. Retrieved 1 April 2015. 
  24. ^ Rubin, B.M. (2010). Guide to Islamist Movements. 2. Sharpe. p. 119. ISBN 9780765641380. Retrieved 27 October 2014. 
  25. ^ Rubvin, Barry (2010). "Guide to Islamist Movements, Volume 2". p. 119. Retrieved 6 April 2015. 
  26. ^ Elliot, Tim. "The many faces of Sheikh Feiz". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 7 April 2015. 
  27. ^ Joe Hildebrand (10 December 2008). "Teach the children – Sheik's vile lesson of hate". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  28. ^ "NSW must monitor Islamic centre: Stoner". The Sydney Morning Herald. 10 December 2008. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  29. ^ "Muslims obligated to resist democracy." The Sydney Morning Herald. 2013.
  30. ^ "Country at war with radical Islam." The Daily Telegraph. 2014.
  31. ^ "Festival of Dangerous Ideas cancels event by Hizb ut-Tahrir's Uthman Badar titled Honour Killings are Morally Justified". ABC News. 25 June 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2014. 
  32. ^ Australia Spokesman for Islamist Group Calls Jews ‘Most Evil Creatures of Allah’, Declares ‘They Will Pay With Blood’ (VIDEO) by Shiryn Ghermezian, The Algemeiner, 13 March 2015.
  33. ^ "Tony Abbot Wants Taji Out." 2013.
  34. ^ "The Enemy within." Australian News.
  35. ^ Albrechtsen, Janet (4 March 2015). "Battlefield of ideas is where fanatics will fall". The Australian. Retrieved 4 March 2015. 
  36. ^ Silber, M.D. (2011). The Al Qaeda Factor: Plots Against the West. University of Pennsylvania Press, Incorporated. p. 225. ISBN 9780812205220. Retrieved 27 October 2014. 
  37. ^ Radical Islam in the West
  38. ^ Bendle, Mervyn F. "Secret Saudi funding of radical Islamic groups in Australia." National Observer 72 (2007): 7.
  39. ^ "Australia's Howard Says Fanatical Islam Behind Terror". Bloomberg (2 ed.). 9 November 2005. 
  40. ^ RACHEL OLDING, "Terrifying Legacy Emerges From Success of Operation Pendennis." Sydney Morning Herald. 24 August 2014.
  41. ^ Shandon Harris-Hogan. "The Australian Neojihadist network: Origins, evolution and structure." Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict, Volume 5, Issue 1. Global Terrorism Research Centre. Monash University. Victoria: Australia. (2012): pp. 18- 30.
  42. ^ Koschade, Stuart Andrew. "The internal dynamics of terrorist cells: a social network analysis of terrorist cells in an Australian context." (2007).
  43. ^ "Four Corners: Willie Brigitte." ABC News. 9 February 2004.
  44. ^ NATALIE O'BRIEN. "Mother of militant Islam's dark past." THE AUSTRALIAN. 21 July 2007.
  45. ^ David Martin Jones, Sacred Violence: Political Religion in a Secular Age, Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.
  46. ^ Darren Goodsir, "Perth JI boss 'recruited bombers,'" Sydney Morning Herald, 25 July 2003.
  47. ^ a b Zachary Abuza, Political Islam and Violence in Indonesia, Routledge, 2006.
  49. ^ Ian Munro, "Terror on Tap," Sydney Morning Herald, 24 December 2010.
  50. ^ Raffaello Pantucci, "Operation Neath: Is Somalia’s al-Shabaab Movement Active in Australia?" Terrorism Monitor 9:3 (2011).
  51. ^ Leah Farrall, "What the al Shabab-al Qaeda Merger Means for Australia," The Conversation, 5 March 2012.
  52. ^ YONI BASHAN. "Ram-raid Muslim radicals – police fear crimes are funding Syrian war fighters." THE DAILY TELEGRAPH. 5 December 2013.
  53. ^ "Australian National Security – What Australia is doing". Australian Government. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  54. ^ Masjids and Musallahs in Australia
  55. ^ "Australasian Muslim Times". Retrieved 13 March 2017. 
  56. ^ "Australasian Muslim Times". Retrieved 13 March 2017. 
  57. ^ "Muslim Community Radio". Retrieved 13 March 2017. 
  58. ^ "One Path Network". Retrieved 13 March 2017. 
  59. ^ Om, Jason (17 March 2015). "Muslim community establishes $1 million television studio, the One Path Network, to counter mainstream media treatment of Islam". ABC News. Retrieved 11 March 2017. 

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