Grand Mufti calls for religions to unite against terror

Global extremist attacks set the tone for the largest Iftar dinner ever to be organised by the Grand Mufti in Australia, as the leader called for unity against terror.

The Grand Mufti of Australia, Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohamed, has called for religions to unite against terror as he hosted the largest ever Australian Iftar dinner.

"This is obviously the view of everybody, whether they are the original custodians of the land, whether they are refugees or whether they have come here from anywhere around the world," he said.

Held during Ramadan, this year the traditional Islamic event was extended to leaders from various Christian denominations, as well as navy and police officers.


Dr Abu Mohamed presided over the crowd of more than 80, addressing members of the community on matters including racism, extremism and religious vilification.

Despite a pointed, rare reference to extremism at the dinner, the mood at the Sydney event was inclusive and jovial, with a call to prayer shared by religious groups present.

"We are here to stand together against terrorism, and to promote multiculturalism among all people," Dr Abu Mohamed said.

As leaders and community members broke the fast together, they enjoyed dishes they had prepared themselves - including a soup the Grand Mufti made himself.

The feast was as diverse as the crowd assembled - Greek and Lebanese dishes were combined with Iraqi fare, and even spring rolls and pasta.

New South Wales Multicultural Affairs Minister Ray Williams told SBS News interfaith dinners had been a remarkable success since 2007.

"Most importantly, they show respect for our shared values and our shared values as a socially cohesive and harmonious society," he said.

During the dinner a young girl gave a moving testimony to the room about her experiences of racism as a Sydney schoolgirl and Dr Abu Mohamed later conducted a question and answer session with attendees.

Mr Williams said events like the Iftar dinner were a reflection of the value the country places on multiculturalism.

"No other country does things like this quite like Australia, and I think there is a message in that for the rest of the world," he said.

2 min read
Published 11 June 2017 at 3:15pm
By Camille Bianchi, Nastasya Tay