The Muslim Association of Canterbury (MAC) established in 1977 in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand is an umbrella organization for the Muslims in Canterbury. MAC is a multi-ethnic, non-profit organization in New Zealand.
MAC seeks to bring together Muslims in the region in the service of Allah, the creator, as enshrined in the Holy Qur’an and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him). It also seeks to facilitate understanding and alliance between the Canterbury Muslim community and the wider society.
Our mission is to continually build a mosque that is relevant, constantly recognizes and meets people’s needs, pursues the teaching of Allah (SWT) and our Prophet Muhammed (may peace be upon him) and always provides an atmosphere for positive relationships to grow and develop.
To this end, it is one of the major objectives of MAC to improve and promote a better understanding of Islam for both Muslims and non-Muslims and to contribute towards a better future for Muslims, New Zealanders and humanity at large.
Muslims in New Zealand – since 1874
The first Muslim migrants were Chinese gold diggers working in Dunstan, in the South Island, recorded in the government census of April 1874. In 1950 there were about 150 Muslims and the first Muslim organisation was established. Soon after, a boatload of European refugees brought about 50 Muslim men from Albania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia. In the 1960s a number of Asian students also began arriving. In April 1979 the national body for Muslims, the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ), was formed.
There was an influx of Indo-Fijians (a large minority of whom are Muslims) in the 1970s, mostly into Auckland. In the 1990s Somalis and Middle Eastern people began arriving in the main cities. There’s been a steady trickle of converts to Islam since the 1970s. The 2006 census recorded 37,000 Muslims in total which includes a large number of New Zealand born Muslims as well as around 4000 who identified themselves as both Muslim and Pakeha or Muslim and Maori.
We would like to invite you to apply for MAC membership. Please download the membership application form and return it in person to our office at the masjid.