‘I think sentiment generally in the community is probably negative and this event is an attempt to say, ‘Yes we are part and parcel of the community and we’ve got people who contribute to the betterment of society in all fields,’ ‘ the Muslim Social and Sports Association member told Guardian Express.
He said the festival would also help dispel common misconceptions about the often-misrepresented practise.
‘There isn’t an identifiable Muslim culture because, for argument’s sake, if you’re a Muslim in Indonesia you practise it quite differently to a Muslim from the Middle East, Pakistan, India or Africa, so you can’t, for example, say there is a Muslim dance just like you can’t say there is a Christian dance,’ Mr Samnakay explained.
‘Also, there aren’t Muslim dishes as such because the spread of Muslims is right around the globe ” Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Pakistan, Africa, Europe.’
The association, with about 140 members across Perth, will co-host the festival with the City of Vincent on October 20 at Birdwood Square on the corner of Beaufort and Bulwer streets.
It approached the City because of its links to the community ” it houses the 100-year-plus Perth Mosque on William Street, one of the oldest mosques in Australia.
‘Muslims have two key functions on the calender: one is where we fast for a month and then celebrate the Ramadan Eid,’ Mr Samnakay said.
‘The second is when people go to pilgrimage in Mecca and at the end of that period of about 10 days there is another Eid festivity, which is the one we’ll celebrate at this event.
‘This is the first time the association is running an event like this and if we can get 5000 people to attend that would be wonderful.’
The inaugural Vincent Celebrates Eid festival will include, among other activities, music, art, dance and food stalls.