New Mufti a Gentle Soul: Islamic Council

June 11, 2007

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Canberra

Australia's newly appointed Mufti Sheik Fehmi Naji El-Imam will not be as high profile as his outspoken predecessor, director of the Islamic Council of Victoria says.

Controversial Muslim leader Sheik Taj Aldin Alhilali on Sunday declined to accept another term in the top Islamic post.

Australia's imams elected 79-year-old Sheik Fehmi Naji El-Imam to the role of mufti instead.

Director of the Islamic Council of Victoria Waleed Aly says Sheik Fehmi Naji El-Imam is widely respected.

"He is a very gentle soul," Mr Aly told ABC radio.

"He's been around as an imam in Australia for some 50 odd years, he has got an Order of Australia, he is very widely respected and highly regarded in Victoria.

"He wants to ensure that Muslims and non-Muslim Australians are pulling in the same direction and that there's a convivial relationship between the two.