MUSLIM leaders based in Jimboomba have donated $3000 to a Catholic charity to support the poor and needy.
St Vincent de Paul Society Jimboomba conference president Peter Flynn received a cheque for $3000 from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association Jimboomba on Australia Day.
Mr Flynn said the donation from the Muslim community was a major relief for the conference, which supports hundreds of residents living below the poverty line.
Members of the conference regularly visit residents in the huge area of rural Brisbane known to locals at the “satellite towns”.
This includes Beaudesert, Park Ridge, Greenbank, Tamborine and Logan Village plus the new estates of Flagstone and Yarrabilba, which recently opened up its first Catholic primary school.
“A lot who go there are pretty poor, really,” Mr Flynn said.
Petrol is a major expense for most residents, as congested traffic situations on the Mt Lindsay Highway mean residents also fork out more for fuel than groceries.
And with no shops just around the corner and public transport so sparse, residents are forced to drive out of town for the basics.
“Instead of giving $20 for a bag of groceries, we consider offering people fuel money,” Mr Flynn said.
“We give at least one $50 card for Woolworths to each family.
“It’s hard to give below $100 to a family to help.”
Mr Flynn and Vinnies diocesan president Noel Sweeney accepted the cheque at the Muslim association’s event.
Mr Sweeney said it was the first time he had ever heard of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, a sect of Islam that rejects terrorism and “jihad by the sword”.
“Both Peter Flynn and I as well as many others there were very impressed by the commitment and passion of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in reaching out and extending the hand of friendship to all non-Muslims in their community,” Mr Sweeney said.
“This is somewhat different from the view that I previously held in that I considered Muslims to be isolationists and not wanting to be part of the community as a whole.
“There is no doubt about their genuineness.”
Mr Sweeney thanked the Ahmadi Muslim leaders for their donation, which will be used to support hundreds of people doing it tough in Jimboomba.
Imam Ahmed Nadeem, of Stockleigh, said each year the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association donated money to one charity “to make bridges”.
He said all donations should be used to help the poor.