Sada-e-Watan Sydney

Dr Rateb Jneid

Transcript Speech of President Australian Federation of Islamic Councils Dr Rateb Jneid

Honourable Minister Mark Coure representing the Premier of NSW the Hon Dominic Perrottet
Honourable Senator David Shoebridge
Honourable Minister Damien Tudehope
Honourable Shaoquett Chaher MOSELMANE, MLC
Honourable Philip Ruddock MP
Honourable Lynda Voltz, MP
His Excellency Alexey Pavlovsky Ambassador of Russia
His Excellency Ramil Gurbanov Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan
His Excellency Kamal Muftic Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina
The National Grand Mufti of Australia Sheikh Abdul Quddoos Al Azhari
Consuls General,
Sheikh Malek Zeidan, Sheikh Khaled Taleb, Sheikh Mohammed Abu Eid and all the Imams and religious who are present this evening,
Professors, councillors, doctors, Council chairmen, community leaders, the presidents and members of our member societies.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Brothers and Sisters, Distinguish guests.

Assalamu Alaikom wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh and welcome to our long overdue annual dinner.
I would firstly like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land that we have the privilege to be sharing today, and I pay my respects to their Elders past and present.
I am humbled to be again standing before you in the position of AFIC president, today, the Muslims of Australia have again placed their confidence in me and elected me to this very honourable position much to the chagrin of my wife and family who want me to reduce my community work so that I can spend more time with them. I am grateful to Allah for giving me a beautiful and supporting family.

Above being an honour and a privilege, working for the community is a tremendous responsibility. Leadership in general brings out many voices that demand that you listen and take heed of their concerns.

In this position, you must always strike a balance between talking and listening, between deciding and consulting and mostly, how to allocate your time, because there are demands on this time from everyone.

It is a position that brings with is accusations and abuse so you learn to overlook and forgive where necessary.
AFIC is placed in the best position today to unite the community many are the groups and societies that have jumped up to claim representation over the Muslim community AFIC has been quietly working over the past 58 years to build this beautiful and wonderful community and will continue to so do quietly wherever possible and with a little noise when necessary. We have a huge responsibility on our hands and the next balance to find is when to be visible and when to be invisible.

Over the past five years, AFIC has been actively involved in not only commenting on key national and international issues, but also providing submissions to assist parliament and government instrumentalities in better lawmaking and better governance of our society. We aim to continue this noble objective. We are Australian and we want to contribute what we can to build and improve Australia.

Finally, I would like to thank my wife, who has been extremely supportive of me in my efforts to assist and support the wider Muslim community, both nationally and internationally. Without her support, I would not be able to accomplish what I have achieved.
With these few words, I welcome you all and ask you to please enjoy your dinner.

Syed Zafar Hussain of Sada-e-Watan Sydney with Minister of Multicultural Hon.Mark Coure, MP

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