Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull hosted a Ramadan Iftar on Thursday evening 16 June at Kirribilli House, Sydney, a first by an Australian PM.
The invited guests included Muslim leaders and young activists from all states as well as interfaith representatives from Sydney.
Mr Turnbull greeted Muslims saying, “I am honoured to be the first Australian Prime Minister to host an Iftar during the holy month of Ramadan. To the approximately five hundred thousand Muslim Australians across our country and to more than one and half billion Muslims around the world, Ramadan Kareem.”
“Tonight we gather as a community of many faiths and cultures to get to know one another and to share the spirit of Ramadan. I am delighted that we are joined tonight not only by so many outstanding Muslim Australians, but Australians of many faiths,” he said.
Mr Turnbull singled out Australia as the most successful multicultural society in the world and Muslims as an integral part of Australia, and said that he was honoured by the attendance of the 75 guests at this unprecedented national Iftar dinner.
The PM shared the dinner table with Network Ten’s The Project host, Waleed Aly and his wife Susan Carland, mechanical engineer and Youth activist Yassmin Abdel-Magued, AFL player Bachar Houli and Ridwan Jadwat from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Other guests included Mufti of Australia Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammed, Hass Dellal, from Australian Multicultural Foundation, Sheikh Shady Al-Sulaiman, Shaikh Wesam Charkawi and interfaith representatives including Archibishop of Sydney Reverend Glenn Davies, Rabbi Dr Benjamin Elton from the Great Synagogue of Sydney and Dr Nihal Agar from Hindu Council of Australia.
Quoting from the Quran and sayings of Prophet Mohammad (s), Mr Turnbull said “by breaking bread across religions and by bringing diverse people together, we are embodying Islam’s emphasis on human diversity.”
“We must stand together like we do tonight as one Australian family united against terrorism, racism, discrimination and violence,” he said.
Ramadan Iftars bring families and communities together from diverse backgrounds and all walks of life in order to share meal in an atmosphere of peace, harmony and respect for all.
Community, corporate and political Iftars have now become a fashion during the fasting Month of Ramadan all over Australia in general and Sydney in particular.
The Premier of NSW, Mike Baird hosted the Premier’s Iftar dinner on Tuesday 14 June at the NSW Parliament House while the Commonwealth Bank hosted a corporate Iftar on Wednesday 15 June for its employees inviting community leaders and politicians for dinner.