The Conference of Australian Imams with contributions from Muslim leaders, women and youth, held in Sydney on September 16-17, was attended by more than 100 Imams and community leaders along with women and youth representatives.
Citizenship, Settlement and Multicultural Affairs First Assistant Secretary Peter Vardos said the team in the Multicultural Affairs Branch played a critical and often exhausting role in the arrangements which culminated in the meeting.
At the historic meeting, the Imams agreed to work towards setting up a national board to tackle issues such as terrorism and provide the Muslim community with a united voice. Mr Robb and three international speakers addressed the conference.
Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, the chair of Interfaith Relation Committee of The Muslim Council of Britain also attended the conference.
The conference communiqué condemned all forms of terrorism and hatred, recognised the important role of Imams in meeting the needs of the Islamic community and committed Imams to help the wider community to understand Islam. The communiqué also supported the establishment of a National Centre for Excellence in Islamic Studies for both Muslim and non-Muslim students.
The branch has worked extensively with the Muslim community over the last 12 months through the Muslim Community Reference Group and with the invaluable help of Community Liaison Officers in state and territory offices.
The Muslim Community Reference Group is expected to shortly hand its final report and recommendations to the Parliamentary Secretary.