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Historic moment in Australia as first two Muslim federal ministers sworn in

8th Jul 2022
Historic moment in Australia as first two Muslim federal ministers sworn in

Hamed Chapman

Edham ‘Ed’ Nurredin Husić and Azza ‘Anne’ Aly have been sworn into office to become the first Muslim ministers in Australia’s history, in what is being viewed as a “new era” in the country’s inclusivity.

Husić, son of Bosnian migrants, said their appointments to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s Labour cabinet “sends a signal to the broader community that people from diverse backgrounds and different faiths can have a role to play in building a better country.”

“This is an important symbolic moment in terms of bringing the country together. We have got a big job to do, and we need a lot of people involved working together in the same way to improve the quality of life for all Australians,” the new Minister for Industry and Science said. Aly, who was sworn in as Minister for Early Childhood and Youth, said it was more than a personal statement but a moment they had been hoping would happen, a potential reflection of changing perceptions of a community that has struggled with online and in-person vilification and abuse.

“Growing up, I often struggled with finding a sense of belonging. I think young Anne would be looking at this moment and I hope that it would give her some reassurance that she does belong,” she said. “As a Muslim woman, I realise that the significance of my appointment extends beyond my own feelings and has an impact on young women who can see themselves reflected in the leadership of this nation. I hope that it sends them a message that there is a place for them and that they do belong.”

Both ministers were the first to hold a copy of the Qur’an while taking their oath of office as part of a ceremony with the rest of the new Government following Labour’s return to power in Australia in 2013.

Husić, who was born in Sydney, was the first Muslim to be elected to federal parliament back in 2010 while Aly, who was originally from Egypt, became the first female federal parliamentarian of Islamic faith to be elected in 2016.

Photo credit: Rashidajourno/CC

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