I've always felt welcomed in Australia
As an Australian Muslim who has grown up here, I have known this country to be my homeland. I never felt left out, and was always welcomed by everyone around me. I have claimed my title of an "Aussie", and with it, the responsibility to care and uphold the Australian values.
From as far as I can remember, the thought that I do not belong in this country, or the idea that this is not my land, has never crossed my mind.
I believe the credit for this goes to the accepting mindset of the Australian society which is full of people who display values of egalitarianism, compassion, and respect for the freedom and dignity of a person and their beliefs.
Freedom is probably the key factor with regards to this, because it is something that many countries, such as the one where I was born, have little-to-no concept of.
I see the truth of this more and more every day when I turn on the news, or hear stories of the life back in my birth country.
Back there, the people of my community are persecuted for not only practicing their faith, but for even calling themselves Muslims. It makes me feel grateful for the life I have here in Australia.
This freedom and respect that this nation holds at value and gives to individuals like myself, is a major reason for my love for it.
This love is also something that my religion has created within me; as a Muslim, I have been taught that it is my duty to follow the law of the country in which I live and remain loyal towards it, as a token of gratitude for what it has given to me.