Leaders Want Islamic Taskforce Return

January 21, 2008

Author: Richard Kerbaj

Source: The Australian


MUSLIM leaders have urged Kevin Rudd to revive an Islamic taskforce to advise his fledgling regime on Islam and community-related problems.

But the nation's most senior Islamic leaders, who headed John Howard's now disbanded Muslim Community Reference Group, are already divided about the proposed committee.

Mr Howard's 14-member committee, which included the sacked former mufti of Australia Taj Din al-Hilali, was dogged by in-fighting and ethnic rivalry that eventually lead to its downfall after one year.

However, Aziza Abdel-Halim yesterday stressed the importance of forming another government-backed Islamic body to shield Australia's almost 350,000 Muslims from being racially and religiously targeted by opponents of Islam.