The President Dr Rateb Jneid, Grand Mufti, Sheikh Riad El Rifai and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Kamalle Dabboussy, of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC) met with Foreign Minister Penny Wong in Sydney on Monday 20 May 2024 to convey the concerns and views of the community regarding the Government’s stance on the Gaza conflict.

AFIC expressed appreciation to the Australian Government for its recent support for the resolution at the UN in support of Palestinians. AFIC expressed the community’s concern that progress seems slow, and urged for more action.

Minister Wong acknowledged the deep and profound suffering of the community during the current conflict. Minister Wong stated that the government has been working to support international efforts to advance a humanitarian ceasefire, increase humanitarian aid, and the release of hostages. She reaffirmed the need for a two-state solution that requires the recognition of a Palestinian state and that for the first time, Australia no longer thinks recognition must come at the end of a peace process.

AFIC asked for clarification on any arms shipment to Israel from Australia, and Minister Wong clarified that Australia has not supplied weapons to Israel since the conflict began or for at least the past five years.

The meeting that lasted for 45 minutes covered several other issues, including Australians stranded overseas trying to return home.

AFIC ended by requesting the Government to do everything in its power to stop the killings in Gaza, and Minister Wong responded that a cessation of hostilities was a common goal for everyone.

AFIC intends to continue to engage with Government and decision makers to continue to advocate for the Muslim community.

AFIC, established in 1964, stands as the Peak Muslim Organisation in Australia, with 170 members including 9 State and Territory Councils. It has a rich history of pioneering numerous community services and actively advocating for the rights and representation of the Muslim community.


Dr Rateb Jneid, President

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