Malcolm Turnbull

Turnbull first PM to host iftar for Ramadan


Malcolm Turnbull has met with faith leaders at Kirribilli House, becoming the first prime minister to host an iftar, the fast-breaking meal during Ramadan.

Malcolm Turnbull has become the first Australian prime minister to host an iftar, breaking bread with faith leaders.

The prime minister hosted the Ramadan feast at Kirribilli House on Thursday night, with a guest list that included recent Gold Logie winner Waleed Aly and his wife Susan Carland.

Others invited to dinner include AFL player Bachar Houli and author and mechanical engineer Yassmin Abdel-Magied.

Mr Turnbull described Ramadan - the period in which Muslims fast from food and water between dawn and sunset - as a special time of forgiveness, reflection and spiritual renewal.

He also recognised the other faith leaders present to share in the spirit of Ramadan.

"By breaking bread across religions and by bringing diverse people together, we are embodying Islam's emphasis on human diversity," he said reciting a Koranic verse.

Singling out young Muslims, Mr Turnbull acknowledged the important contribution Muslims have made to Australian society.

He sought to assure them that extremists will not win in their aim to divide Australia.

"Acts of terror like Sunday's massacre in Orlando are perpetrated to divide us along lines of race, religion, sect and sexuality - but that kind of hatred and division must not prevail.

"We must stand together like we do tonight as one Australian family united against terrorism, racism, discrimination and violence."

The prime minister later declared his favourite dishes of the iftar at Kirribilli House was tabouli and fattoush - which is a Lebanese fried bread salad.

He confirmed he didn't fast in preparation for the dinner.

"I just showed up here for the meal," Mr Turnbull told Aly on Network Ten's The Project from the dinner.

Earlier, Mr Turnbull began the day with a tour of Qantas' Innovation Day with Treasurer Scott Morrison, seeing first hand the airline's connections to Australian business.

Family butter company Pepe Saya tried to get him to sample some of their creamy spread.

He declined, but was impressed by their product and story.

Owner Pierre Issa said it was an honour to meet him.

"We didn't get to butter him up, but we tried," he joked to AAP.

With an annual turnover of more than $2 million, his company would be in line for the government's planned business tax cut.

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