The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC) today reaffirms its commitment to the universal principles of freedom, justice, and equality. In light of recent discussions, AFIC wishes to clarify the meaning behind the phrase “from the river to the sea,” which has been historically associated with the Palestinian cause for self-determination and statehood.

We assert that our understanding of “from the river to the sea” is rooted in the aspiration for freedom for all people, irrespective of their background, faith, or nationality. It is a vision that encompasses the right of all individuals to live in peace and dignity within the lands stretching from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

Dr. Rateb Jneid, President of AFIC, states, “Our stance is clear: we advocate for a future where every person in this region can enjoy the fundamental rights to which they are entitled. This includes the right to self-determination, security, and prosperity. The phrase ‘from the river to the sea’ must not be misconstrued as an exclusionary or divisive slogan. Instead, it is a call for inclusivity, harmony and equality for all of Abraham’s children.”

AFIC’s interpretation aligns with the values enshrined in international law and human rights conventions. We believe that a just and lasting peace in the Middle East can only be achieved through mutual respect, dialogue, and the recognition of the rights of all peoples involved.

As the peak Muslim body in Australia, AFIC has a rich history of advocating for the rights and representation of the Muslim community. Our mission extends beyond our shores, as we stand in solidarity with oppressed peoples worldwide, seeking to build a society free from discrimination where everyone is empowered to fulfill their potential.

AFIC is particularly concerned with the political and media attention and concern shown to a slogan when the focus should be on Israel and the genocide or genocide like actions in Gaza.

In reality, “From the river to the sea” symbolises our hope for a future where freedom and justice are not just ideals but realities for all.

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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