The Canterbury Bankstown Harmony Group has raised grave concerns after the controversial recent visit by Pauline Hanson and Canadian white supremacist Lauren Southern to their local area  causing disharmony in the otherwise peaceful community.

The Group held its 12th Interfaith Dinner on Wednesday 8 August 2018 in Punchbowl, Sydney attended by politicians, interfaith leaders and members of the diverse community from the local area.

The event hosted by the founder and current President of the Group Karl Saleh also included presentation of “Interfaith Dialogue Awards” by the special guest Mr Tony Burke MP, Shadow Federal Minister for Citizenship and Multiculturalism to the following:

  1. Father Superior, Louis El Ferekh, St Charbel’s Maronite community in Sydney.
  2. Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammed, Grand Mufti of Australia.
  3. Mr Zia Ahmad, Editor-in-Chief, AMUST, Australasian Muslim Times.
  4. Mr Anwar Alsouly, Head of the Daawah office, Saudi Embassy in Canberra.
  5. Rev Graeme Watkins:Lakemba Uniting Church.

Mr Karl Saleh, President of the  Canterbury Bankstown Harmony Group addressing the audience at the 12th Interfaith Dinner

The President of the Canterbury Bankstown Harmony group, Karl Saleh announced the 2018  theme for  the Interfaith Dinner being “Australian Values: Tolerance and Mutual Respect. ”

“Pauline Hanson and Lauren Southern visit  to our area should be ignored and not welcomed,” Mr Saleh  said.

This event gave the opportunity to network with various communities, learn from each other and  share with others the importance of diversity through  building bridges of understanding and harmony.

Mr Tony Burke MP, Shadow Federal Minister for Citizenship and Multiculturalism addressing the audience at the 12th Interfaith Dinner

The diverse gathering was addressed by a number of speakers representing various interfaith groups and professions including local, state and federal politicians.

The guests at the interfaith dinner included the following and many more:

  1. The Hon Tony Burke, Shadow Federal Minister for Multiculturalism
  2. Jihad Dib, Shadow NSW Minister for Education
  3. Sophie Cotsis, Shadow NSW Minister for Multiculturalism
  4. Khal Asfour – Mayor of the City of Canterbury Bankstown
  5. Superintendent Kerrie-Anne Lewis,Commander, Campsie Police Area Command
  6. Superintendent Michael O’Toole – Bankstown Police Area Command
  7. Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohamed: The Grand Mufti of Australia
  8. Graeme Watkins:Lakemba Uniting Church
  9. Heather Joyce ToppBuddhist Council of NSW
  10. Rev Fr Louis FerkhSuperior of St Charbel’s Mission in Sydney
  11. Dr Patric Mclnerney Columban Mission Institute.
  12. Shiekh Shady SulimanUnited Muslims of Australia (UMA)
  13. Shiekh Anwar Souli Head of the Dwaa office -Saudi Embassy
  14. Dr Zachariah Matthews: Imam of Punchbowl Mosque.
  15. Ross Hawkey  – Acting CEO Multicultural NSW
  16. Dr Ashfaq Ahmad Chaudhary:IQRA Islamic Welfare Centre, Lakemba
  17. Sheikh Abdul Goni Chowdhury: Islamic Dawah Circle (IPDC) Lakemba
  18. Pauline Gallagher OAM  Riverwood Community Centre
  19. Representative of: United Muslim Women Association Inc.
  20. Representative of:  Islamic Women’s Welfare Association
  21. Chris Gambian –Federal Labor candidate for the seat of Banks.
  22. Lucy ManneringNSW Labor candidate for the seat of Oatley
  23. Zia Ahmad, AMUST
  24. Mehar Ahmad, Seena Inc
  25. Mobinah Ahmad, Australia Arab Chamber of Commerce & Industry AACCI