The Islamic Council of New South Wales is a community-based organisation which was established to address and respond to the settlement and religious and educational needs of the first generation of Australian Muslims.
Since its inception in 1976, it has been the key provider of vital services to the Muslim community including the development of programs and services that focus on the maintenance of Islamic teachings, such as the Islamic scripture program in Islamic schools, Islamic burial, in accordance to Islamic law, establishment of religious centres and mosques, and the inclusion of the study of Islam in the high school studies of religion.
As a peak state umbrella body representing Muslim organisations from diverse ethnic, cultural and linguistic backgrounds living in NSW, the Council’s objectives are to facilitate the integration and participation of Australian Muslims into Australia’s culturally and religiously diverse society through the promotion of education, training and community development, community relations and harmony. For example, ICNSW lobbied the NSW Government to provide a land grant for the Muslim community in the Bonnyrigg area. After this grant was successful we lobbied for other religious organisations to receive the same privilege.
We speak out for the community where it matters. We made media appearances calling out racist physical attacks on Muslims, representing community views on government committees and helped other organisations secure funding for projects. We also attended meetings with employers in support of individuals who wanted to negotiate prayer arrangements during their work lunch break.
We invite communities to work together alongside government agencies, the corporate sector and other community organisations. We organised journalism engagement events, the ongoing “Open Homes in Ramadan” program and other initiatives that bring people together.
We are dedicating resources to educating both the Muslim community, as well as broader Australian society. For 30 years we have consistently delivered a free Islamic Special Religious Education program in our schools without any funding from the NSW or Commonwealth governments. We have also written reports and delivered seminars about Islam, Islamophobia and health.
The Islamic Council of New South Wales plays an important and effective role in addressing the needs of Muslim Australians. Discover the journey of Australian Muslims to date below.