The Canterbury Bankstown Harmony Group event was held at Punchbowl Community Centre last Wednesday night. The Grand Mufti of Australia, Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammed, was present as well other religious leaders and politicians including Lakemba Uniting Church minister Reverend Graeme Watkins and Watson MP Tony Burke.
Interfaith Dinner at Punchbowl
With 150 people from varying creeds and cultures, the Interfaith Dinner sent a powerful message to the community — we are in this together.
The event was organised in response to the many multicultural challenges facing Australians.
Event organiser Karl Saleh said following the federal election, there has been a lot of fear in Australia.
He said the dinner was a way of addressing people’s concerns and coming together in a positive way.
“It was a great initiative where people were happy to discuss issues of unity and they all left with a great feeling,” he said.
“By coming together we show that through unity and harmony we can drown out the voices of division and fear.”
The event was the 10th annual Interfaith Dinner and the theme for this year was “Building a Culture of Mutual Respect”. Speaking at the dinner, the Grand Mufti outlined his concerns for Australia in a keynote address.
“There are many challenges facing humanity today,” he said.
“The greatest of these challenges is racism, bigotry, drug abuse, domestic violence, family breakdowns, and environmental pollution …”
“It is our realisation that we are all in need of one another. The more we come closer to each other, the more we love one another and the more we love humanity at large.”