15 Famous Australians You May Not Have Known Were Muslim

Debates over the rise of Islamic extremism have made life pretty tough for Australian Muslims, who have copped their unfair share of abuse, stereotyping and prejudice in recent years, as fears and tensions heightened.

Many don’t realise Islam is the fourth largest religious grouping in Australia – after Christianity, irreligion, and Buddhism, accounting for 2.2% of the country’s population, according to the 2011 census.

And while many Australian Muslims have emigrated from Lebanon, Turkey, Bangladesh and Fiji, over a third are Australian-born.

Business Insider has pulled together a list of 15 notable Australians you may not have realised were Muslim. Irrespective of their religion, what they have in common with their fellow countrymen and women is an enormous contribution to society through their professional careers, which range from sport to the military, politics and the top of the corporate ladder.

Meet some great Australian Muslims.

Ahmed Fahour

Fahour is the Managing Director and CEO of Australia Post, the executive chairman of Startrack and the director of the Carlton Football Club. He also was the CEO of the Australian operations of the National Australia Bank from 2004-2009. Fahour was born in Lebanon and migrated to Australia with his parents in 1970. He was raised Muslim.

Ed Husic

Husic is an Australian federal politician and Australia's first Muslim frontbencher. In 2013 Kevin Rudd appointed Husic as the new Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and Broadband. Husic was raised Muslim by his Bosnian Muslim parents.

Khoder Nasser

Nasser is an Australian sports agent, representing the likes of Sonny Bill Williams and Quade Cooper. His father is a former president of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils. He was raised Muslim by his Australian-born Lebanese Muslim parents.

John Ilhan

Ilhan was the founder of Crazy John's mobile phone retailer. Before his premature death in 2007 Ilhan was the richest Australian under 40 years of age in 2003. Ilhan emigrated to Australia from Turkey when he was five. He was raised Muslim by his family.

Captain Mona Shindy

Shindy is a Captain in the Royal Australian Navy and the most senior Muslim serving in the force. She was born in Egypt and migrated to Australia with her family at the age of three. She was raised Muslim.

Bachar Houli

Houli is an AFL midfielder for Richmond. He was raised Muslim by his Lebanese Muslim parents.

Fawad Ahmed

Ahmed is an Australian cricketer currently contracted to the Melbourne Renegades for the Big Bash League. In 2013, Ahmed requested the logo of Victoria Bitter be removed from his shirt because Islam prohibits alcohol. He was raised as Muslim by his parents and actively practices his faith.

Anthony Mundine

Mundine is a professional boxer and former rugby league player. He is a former, two-time WBA Super Middleweight Champion, a IBO Middleweight Champion, and before leaving football for boxing he was the highest paid player in the NRL. Mundine converted to Islam in 1999.

Carmen Marton

Marton is Australia's first ever world taekwondo champion. She represented Australia in multiple world championships and Olympic competitions. She converted to Islam in 2009.

Waleed Aly

Aly is an Australian radio and television presenter. His social and political commentary appears regularly in Australian newspapers and he often guest co-hosts Channel Ten's The Project. Aly is a Sunni Muslim.

Cory Paterson

Paterson is an Australian boxer and former professional rugby league player for the West Tigers, the North Queensland Cowboys, the Newcastle Knights and Super League side Hull KR. This season he retired from the NRL to pursue boxing. Paterson converted to Islam in 2011.

Adem Yze

Yze is a former Australian rules footballer for the Melbourne Demons. He made the third highest number of appearances for the club. He is now Hawthorn's backline coach. While raised Muslim he does not actively practise it.

Usman Khawaja

Khawaja is a batsman on the Australian cricket team. He became the first Muslim cricketer to represent Australia when he made his debut in the 2010-11 Ashes series. Khawaja was born in Pakistan and his family emigrated to Australia when he was a child.

Sabrina Houssami

Houssami was Miss World Australia 2006, as well as a former Miss World Asia Pacific and second 2nd runner up to Miss World 2006. Houssami was raised Muslim by her Lebanese Muslim family.

Nazeem Hussain

Hussain is an Australian comedian, best known for his stand-up comedy duo with Aamer Rahman, Fear of a Brown Planet. He was raised Muslim by his Sri Lankan parents.

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