In a community centre in the suburbs the Australian New Muslim Association celebrates the newest converts to Islam.
According to the 2006 census there were 345,000 Muslims in Australia, although Islamic leaders believe that figure could have been as high as 600,000.
Some community leaders believe many Muslims didn't tick off the correct box in the religion question. In the leadup to this month’s census, Islamic leaders called on Muslims to tick the right box on the form, to further their political and communal aims, pointing out that democracy is a numbers game.More stories from Today Tonight
At the Iftar celebration for new Muslims the mood is optimistic, despite what they say are too often false perceptions about Muslims, their customs, and in particular the rights of women.
25-year-old Sarah Allen decided to become a Muslim after leaving school, and married within her new faith.
"My husband takes care of me in every aspect of my life. If I choose not to work he's obligated to financially support me," she said.
Siddiq Buckley was born Richard Buckley, before he realised he was being called to worship Allah.
"It's a bit like buying a new pair of shoes. When you first put them on they feel a bit strange, but you gets used to it as you wear them in," Buckley said of his new faith.
Sheikh Shady Alsulieman is one of Australia’s first home-grown Imams. He says we are all born Muslim, and therefore those that come back to Islam don't convert, but rather revert to the religion.
"The word ‘Muslim’ in Arabic means submission and surrender, and that is to the will of god, to the will of the creator,” Sheikh Alsulieman said.Contact details
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