TIME YOU MET YOUR NEIGHBOURS
Ali Kadri came to Australia as a 20-year-old student after growing up in a divided community, witnessing the violence of anti-Muslim riots in India and “living a life of fear”. “In 2002 it came to pass that there were some really horrific events that took place and me losing my cousin was one of them,” Kadri said. He said his experiences could have caused him to react in one of two very different ways. “You could either react in a more angry way and be angry in life and at people in general, or you could do your best to ensure that this doesn’t bring the worst out of you but brings the good out of you to help other people bring the better out of them.” Kadri has chosen to do his best. The vice-president and spokesman for the Islamic Council of Queensland works to dispel myths about his Muslim faith. He and fellow members of Brisbane’s Holland Park Mosque feature in the three-part SBS series The Mosque Next Door, which shows what happens within the community during the course of a year. Kadri said it was a great opportunity to show what life was really like as a Muslim. “When you have a show like this, your life is pretty much open for everybody to see – they feel part of it, they can see the human side of things,” he said. “Generally when we don’t know about people, when we tend to stereotype a particular group, we forget to think that they’re just like us.” The series tackles topics such as halal food, the wearing of the hijab and fears about terrorism and even looks at romance as a Muslim. “I just want people to watch the program and not think of the characters as Muslims but as human beings, just like them,” Kadri said. Part one of the series airs on Wednesday at 8.30pm on SBS.