BRISBANE – Australian imams invited once again officers from Queensland Police Service (QPS) and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) as well as local politicians for a football tournament to celebrate the 4th anniversary of the Bosnian Islamic Center in Brisbane, MyPolice reported on November 13.
“These events are the types of relationships that contribute to making our communities safer for all,” Chief Superintendent Brian Swan APM said.
“Keeping communities safe is our core business and to do this effectively, the assistance and cooperation of the community are vital.”
Despite the hot summer weather, the tournament was enjoyed by all and was followed by a presentation and a formal luncheon for all delegates.
The QPS team showcased creative playing but lost against the AFP who qualified to meet the Imams’ team on their home turf in the grand final.
Despite the AFP’s valiant efforts, the Imams proved too strong and claimed a well-deserved 5-1 victory in the final.
The participating teams assured being committed to bring more teams to join the next year’s event.
The chosen ‘Player of the Tournament’ was Imam Ibrahim Hadzihasanovic from the Australian Bosnian Mosque based in Deer Park, Melbourne.
The Federal Member for Moreton Graham Perrett MP begrudgingly accepted the ‘award’ on behalf of his team. Also, South Brisbane District Cross Cultural Liaison Officer, Sergeant Jim Bellos helped to organize and referee the matches.
“Sport is a fantastic way to break down barriers and through proactive engagement, we’ll continue to score many goals together as a community,” Bellos expressed.
According to the 2016 Australian Census, the number of Muslims in Australia constituted 604,200 people or 2.6% of the total country’s population. This makes Islam the second largest religious grouping in Australia after Christianity.
Demographers attribute Australian Muslim community growth trends during the most recent census period to relatively high birth rates and recent immigration patterns. Adherents of Islam represent the majority of the population in Cocos Islands near Indonesia.
According to the 2011 Australian national census, 39,440 were Bosnians. The vast majority of Bosnian Muslim migrants began arriving in Australia during and after the Bosnian War of Independence which took place between April 1992 and December 1995.
There were smaller waves after World War II and again in the 1960s and 1970s. Muslim Bosnian migrants who arrived in Australia in the 1960s made important contributions to modern-day Australia through their role in the construction of the Snowy Mountains Scheme in New South Wales.