8 August 2016
Tuesday 9th August, tomorrow night is Census night. It is vital for us Muslims to take part in this census and be counted, and counted accurately. The Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV) is urging all Muslim Australians to tick the box ‘Islam‘ in answer to the question on the Census questionnaire that asks ‘What is your religion?’ICV President Bayram Aktepe says “The Census will provide vital data for all Australians including the Muslim communities. That information will help Islamic community bodies to represent the community’s needs more effectively, help us plan for the future and ensure sufficient provision of critical services and programs”.For over 100 years Census data has played an important role in charting Australia’s history and shaping its future. Census data affects Government’s allocation of resources to assist the Australian population in a host of vital areas and plan services for our community – housing, transport, education, industry, hospitals and the environment. Census data is also used by individuals and organisations in the public and private sectors to make informed decisions on policy and planning issues that impact the lives of all Australians. The Muslim communities also depends on the Census for accurate planning information for services in fields such as education, welfare and aged care.Most people will complete the 2016 Census questionnaire online however it will still be possible to request and complete a hard-copy form for those who wish to do so.Mr Aktepe highlighted “in the past many Muslims did not answer the religion question, or even selected another religion to mask their identity. We estimate the total Australian Muslim population to be over 600,000, making it approximately 1 in every 40 people of the total population”.