Published on 30th June, 2001
Muslims of Queensland Australia
By Ibrahim Underwood
century, Muslims have arrived in Australia in two distinct
Immigration in the 1960’s, and
Immigration during the 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s
from Afghan and Malay immigration in the early part of this century,
the other important pre-second European war migration was largely by
Albanian Muslims between 1900 to the 1920s – particularly after 1921.
This was reinforced after the second European war, with further
boost of Albanian, ‘Jugo-Slav’, and Russian (Tatars
– or [i.e. white] Russian Muslims) Muslims migrating to Queensland. [Johnston,
p. 421.; ‘Albanians’]
European Muslims congregated around the sugar cane areas of North
Queensland, particularly Cairns. Mareeba near Cairns, is home to one of the oldest surviving
continually used mosques in Queensland, built by Albanian farmers.
Although Muslims have lived in Queensland since last
century, the growth of sizeable Muslim communities has only occurred
in the last three decades. [Carne,
J. C., p. 184-194]
Muslims in White land, the Albanians, Bosnians & Tatars
Queensland, the first Albanians arrived in 1885, a few before 1920, but
most arrived during the 1920’s, congregating particularly around the
sugar region of Cairns, and the cotton and tobacco regions in
Brisbane. European Muslim
immigration, including some Bosnian and Tatar
migrants, during the 1930’s and 1940’s boosted the already
established Albanian Muslim communities in Cairns (Mareeba) and
the second European war, Queensland Albanians, even those who were
naturalised, were considered enemy aliens and interned at a surveillance camp at Monte.
white Muslims from the Crimea, the Caucasus, Central Asia and Heilongjiang
(Manchuria) province of China - also
entered Queensland at the end of last century as railway workers and
some found their way onto the sugar fields of North Queensland.
According to Price, up to 12% of Serbian/Yugoslav, immigration to
Australia was Muslim, a portion of which migrated to Queensland.
the late 1940’s and the 1950’s, Muslims of Bosnian, Albanian,
Bulgarian, and Russian backgrounds migrated to Australia, finding it
easier to enter Australia because of their ‘whiter’ status. The large number of Turkish and Lebanese Muslim immigrants
during this period did not settle in any discernible numbers
in Brisbane. This
immigration boosted the largely Albanian community (though a few
Afghans and Indians may still have been there) that was established in
Brisbane, and in 1949 a mosque was built.
White Australia Policy
Under the White Australia Policy, ‘Tatars’
became embroiled in a controversy over their eligibility to enter
Australia, which was only resolved after it was found out that they
had white skin after all.
Naum Konxha, originally from southern Albania,
Brisbane Courier Mail of 8
People, p. Carne, J. C. Jones, M. L., pp. 34-35.
Australian People, p. Although
they entered in extremely small numbers during this period, and
assimilated with either other European Muslims or other Eastern
European migrants. Price, C. Carne, J. C., p. 184-194.