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Islam Awareness Week (IAW) 2013 commences across NZ

25 August 2013

PRESS RELEASE

Islam Awareness Week (IAW) 2013 commences across New Zealand

The Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ) present this year's annual Islam Awareness Week (IAW), to be held from Monday, 26 August to Sunday, 1 September 2013. This internationally recognised event celebrates Islam and Muslims around the world.

Throughout this week, events will be held across the country - in Mosques, Islamic Centres, Universities, and community spaces -to present a unique and intimate look at Islam and the Muslim community in New Zealand. The week offers a platform for Muslims to dispel common misconceptions in society as well as a way to celebrate their own uniqueness and contributions to the wider community.

According to the 2006 census, 37,000 Muslims reside in New Zealand, these coming from various ethnic backgrounds, with a significant proportion of them being New Zealand born, including about 4,000 who are identified as Pakeha or Maori.

This year`s theme is "The Role of Youth in the Community" and will be celebrated through events across the country organised and promoted by young Muslims.

This year, for the first time, IAW 2013 will be observed in conjunction with the Diversity Forum organised by the Human Rights Commission. The week will open with the official launch on Monday, 26 August at Te Wharewaka Function Centre, Jervois Quay, Wellington. At this event, the Harmony Award will be presented to deserving individuals who have been identified as having worked over the years to reach out to the Muslim community.

Islam Awareness Week will culminate on Saturday, 31 August 2013 with 'Islam Open Day' - a family-friendly exhibition in Auckland's Aotea Square showcasing Islam, Islamic history and the Muslim community in New Zealand. There will also be ethnic foods, clothing from our different communities and a rich showcase of cultural diversity. A similar "Open Day" will also be observed in Mosques and Islamic Centres in Wellington and other cities.

FIANZ invites all New Zealanders to participate in the week's events and to reach out to Muslim neighbours, local Mosques, Muslim communities, as we all work towards bridging the gaps between the communities in the diverse and rich multicultural landscape that is Aotearoa.

Ends.

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