Sada-e-Watan Sydney ™

Dr Rateb Jneid President of AFIC

55th Annual Congress Dinner of the AFIC held at the Stamford Hotel Sydney Airport
(Exclusive Coverage by: Syed Zafar Hussain, Editor-in-Chief Sada-e- Watan Sydney)

The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC) (also known as Muslims Australia was founded in 1964 as an umbrella group for various small Sunni Islamic groups and councils, and is a Sunni Islamic organisation. The mission of AFIC is to provide service to the community in a manner that is in accordance with the teachings of Islam and within the framework of Australian law, and to advocate for the Sunni Muslim community on matters that will affect the community's relevance, settlement and integration within Australian society.

The main role of AFIC is to represent Sunni Islam and Muslims of Australia as one "Ummah" to the government and other bodies nationally and internationally. AFIC coordinates and provides resources for activities of its State Islamic Councils and member Sunni Islamic societies.

In May 2017, it was reported that Dr Rateb Jneid was elected president of the AFIC. Dr Rateb Jneid is popular Leader of Muslim Community of Australia and working hard for the welfare of Community. He is keeping very close contact with the Federal and State Government’s so whenever anyone raised any issue, Dr Rateb Jneid contacting concern Authorities for solve without any delay. He is Sincere, honest, hardworking Leader who always available and stayed on Frontline. On the behalf of the Community, we would like to appreciate President AFIC Dr Rateb Jneid and his team members.

On Saturday, 22 June 2019, 55th Annual Congress Dinner of the AFIC was held at the Stamford Hotel Sydney Airport. This event was attended by Leading Religious and Community Leaders, Scholars, Members of Parliament, Mayors, Diplomats and prominent personalities from all over Australia. Kazim Ates of Melbourne was MC of the Evening.

Program started with the Quran Recitation. President AFIC Dr Rateb Jneid Welcome all including Federal Minister of Immigration Hon. David Coleman, Shadow Federal Minister Hon. Tony Burke, Member of Lakemba Hon. Jihad Dib, Member of Auburn Hon. Lynda Jane Voltz, Ambassador H.E. Izzat Abdul Hadi and others guests.

Minister of Immigration Hon. David Coleman

Federal MP Hon. Tony Burke

Member of Lakemba Hon. Jihad Dib

Ambassador H.E. Izzat Abdul Hadi

Sheikh Shady Al Suleiman

Sheikh Yahya Safi

Prof. David Taylor (WA)

MC; Kazim Ates (Melb)

Dua prayer by; Bilal Rafai (WA)

Transcript of Speech of the Dr Rateb Jneid President of AFIC

Dr Rateb Jneid

In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful and the Most Beneficent.
All thanks are due to Allah (SWT), the Lord of the worlds, and peace and prayers are upon His messenger Mohammed (SAW)..
Distinguished Religious & Community Leaders, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Assalaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakhatuh

I would like to start by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land upon which we are meeting tonight and pay my respects to their elders past and present.
It is my great privilege and pleasure to welcome you to the Muslims Australia – AFIC 55th Congress Dinner. This is the second Congress for my Board and I - and I am extremely pleased at the changes that have taken place in AFIC in the last 2 years.

I Welcome you all including this list of VIP;

My Executive Committee and I, who took on our positions 2yrs ago, have been focused heavily on finalising and clearing all the historical issues that we faced when we came into office. This has obviously covered all of the school issues, including the MFIS dispute, financial matters and the governance concerns raised by the ACNC. All I want to say on those points is that, by the Grace of Allah (swt), all of those issues are now resolved and behind us:

• All court cases, including with MFIS, have been completely resolved and closed.
• We have a financial plan, approved by the bank, that will see AFIC debt free in under 5 years – AFIC paid $1.4M off its debt in the last 12 months.
• The ACNC have formally written to AFIC advising that they are satisfied with our new governance processes and systems and have given us a clean bill of health.

It is now time to turn our faces forward. While we must keep the past in mind, to make sure we do not allow that to happen again, we now need to focus on the future and look to implement those plans and strategies that out community needs.
We want AFIC to once again take up its role as the Peak representative body for our community from an advocacy and Policy perspective. Our community needs, and has suffered from the absence of, a national voice on those issues that are important to us. We have started this work as well. In the last 12 months we have taken strong public positions on a number of issues including:
• Palestine
• The conflicts in various countries that impact on Muslims
• Family Violence
• Islamophobia
• There is more on those in the Annual Report itself

We want to prioritize programs of work that bring direct benefit to our community. Our State & Territory Councils, and member societies, do fantastic work on the ground but there are issues which affect the community as a whole and which need a level of support that is difficult for grass roots organisations to provide. This is where a national body such as AFIC can, and should, play a role.

As we continue the financial reforms we are undertaking one of our principles will be to allocate resources for these key projects. Of course that means that we first need to understand what the requirement is and where the gaps are – where there is someone already providing a service but can do it better or reach more people, then we will support them; where there is a complete gap then we will develop strategies to fill those. Our role as the peak body should be to build capacity within our community to make these types of programs sustainable insha’Allah.

As I said, these are just some high level thoughts on the future and we will engage with you all as we build the formal strategy over the next 12 months.
By the grace of Allah Almighty I am humbled to have taken on the role of President. I acknowledge the enormous responsibility this position entails, and ask Allah (swt) for strength and guidance to address all the challenges through continuous consultation and to ensure we manage the affairs of AFIC, for the benefit of the community, to the best of our abilities, Insha’Allah.

I want to thank my committee members, our State Councils, their Presidents and Committees, friends and well-wishers who so graciously provide their counsel and advice.
I have a final thank you to make and that is to the families of all of those who are involved in community work. While we are volunteers these roles are almost full-time jobs and in the last year I have had to spend a long time away from my home and family in Perth and I could not have done that without the support of my family but in particular my wife. Community work is a partnership and without her support I would not have the time to do this role. To my wife, and the partners of all those involved in community work, I want to say thank you.

May Allah Almighty accept our efforts and our pledge to the Muslims of Australia to achieve important goals, be open and representative and be accountable in the provision of services to the Community.

Dr Rateb Jneid President of AFIC

Hon. David Coleman, Hon. Jihad Dib and Hon.Tony Burke

Minister of Immigration Hon. David Coleman and Syed Zafar Hussain

Hon. Jihad Dib MP and CG Turkey Melih Karalar

Mrs Manal Jneid and Dr Rateb Jneid

Acting Mayor Liverpool Ali Karnib and Syed Zafar Hussain

Minister Hon. David Coleman, President AFIC Dr Rateb Jneid, Molana Thanvi and Hon. Jihad Dib

Mrs Nafisa Zafar Hussain, Mrs Sarah Izzat and H.E. Izzat Abdul Hadi

Federal Minister of Immigration Hon. David Coleman, MP

Shadow Federal Minister Hon. Tony Burke, MP

Member of Lakemba Hon. Jihad Dib

Ambassador of the State of Palestine  H.E. Izzat Abdul Hadi


Email this page to a friend! Email Sada-e-Watan to a friend!