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 ministers from various Christian denominations, as well as the senior Naval and Police Chaplains.
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.
The Grand Mufti’s Address
We welcome you all here tonight. I wanted to mention each person by name but I will not be able to finish tonight due to the large guest list. Thank you for being with us.
Tonight is a reminder that Ramadan is not only for Muslims but for all who believe in God. For all who believe in human values.For all those who believe in the messages of the Divine.
Testimony to this is the fact that the holy books of the messengers of God were revealed during the blessed month of Ramadan.
On the first day of Ramadan the scrolls (or holy books) of Prophet Abraham were revealed to him.
On the 6th of Ramadan the holy Torah was revealed to Moses
On the 13th day of the Blessed month the Bible was revealed
The 18th day of Ramadan saw the Psalms of David revealed.
And on the 24th the Quran was revealed.
Tonight is a celebration of all of the divine books.
This gathering is to reaffirm the connectivity and the strong relationships we have between all cultures a religions.
We stand against hate, bigotry, exclusion, terrorism, Domestic Violence, and racism in all shapes of forms. Hate breeds hate. Love promotes unity.
This gathering is also to reaffirm the point that we will Continue to stand united against anything that goes against the fundamental human values of this country.
We welcome you all tonight, to break some bread, have conversation with others and discover the values that we all share in common.