Australian Muslim groups reject govt iftar invites over Gaza

Australian Muslim groups reject govt iftar invites over Gaza By A Robin - March 02, 2024
Thousands of Australians joined a pro-Palestinian march for Gaza in Sydney [GETTY]

Thousands of Australians joined a pro-Palestinian march for Gaza in Sydney [GETTY]

Australian Muslim groups are snubbing state-backed Ramadan events due to the government's stance on the war on Gaza, as the death toll from the Israeli assault on the enclave passes 30,000 people.

The Australian National Imams Council (Anic) and Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV) say they will not attend government-hosted Ramadan events due to 'frustration' among Australia's Muslim communities over Canberra's response to Israel's war on Gaza.

The IVC told The Guardian Australia that Jacinta Allan’s first iftar as Victoria premier should be cancelled due to the suffering in Gaza, where children are resorting to eating animal feed and bird seed due to the dire food shortages, brought about by Israel's ongoing siege on the enclave.

ICV president Adel Salman said: "Out of respect for the suffering of the Palestinians, it just would not be appropriate to hold such an event."

"There is a level of frustration with Labor in the community at the moment, at every level, in relation to Israel and the war in Gaza.

"What we want to see from the state government is clear statements of solidarity with the Palestinian people."

Elsewhere, an Anic spokesperson said they were "deeply disappointed with the Minns government’s lack of response to the distress of the Muslim and Arab communities in NSW", referring to the government of New South Wales.

"Anic hopes that the Minns government will take a more just and considerate approach to acknowledging the distress of the communities in NSW and the suffering of the Palestinian people," they added.

The cross-cultural events have been a key fixture in recent years, attended by politicians, Muslim community leaders, senior clerics of all faiths, and consul generals.

Israel's ongoing war on Gaza has killed over 30,000 people since October and the situation for civilians is set to worsen as Israel prepares its assault on Rafah.

Australia says it has granted temporary visas for more than 800 Palestinians since the beginning of Israel’s war on Gaza. 

Canberra has remained supportive of Israel throughout its war on Gaza, with Foreign Minister Penny Wong saying in January that Australia does not accept the "premise" of South Africa's accusation of genocide against Israel at the International Court of Justice.

By A Robin - March 02, 2024

Leave a comment