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Tuesday, 28 May 2002

Christians, Jews and Muslims commit to working together for better Australia

Representatives of the peak national Christian, Jewish and Muslim bodies - the National Council of Churches of Australia, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, and the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, met in Sydney last week to discuss ways in which the three groups can work together to build bridges of understanding and cooperation for a better, fairer Australia.

One Muslim delegate said, "We have a golden opportunity in Australia to move forward with good intentions." All delegates shared a desire to promote and educate for justice and peace. They agreed to meet on a regular basis, to discuss ideas, to break down stereo-types and caricatures that exist in the community and to consider possible joint action.

The second of two planning meetings bringing together delegates from the three national faith communities, the meeting took place in the offices of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils in Sydney's Zetland. Delegates also visited the Mosque in the Centre and were present during the afternoon prayers, and discussed ways in which Muslims practise their faith.

The meeting was co-chaired by Jeremy Jones, President of the ExecutiveCouncil of Australian Jewry, and Reverend John Henderson, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches of Australia. Mr Amjad Mehboob, the Chief Executive Officer of AFIC, led the Muslim delegation.

Other participants in the meeting were: Sheikh Amin Hady, Mr Muhammad Khan, Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins, Sister Trish Madigan, Mr Hafez Malas, Mr Yair Miller, Ms Peta Pellach, Mr Kuranda Seyfi Seyit and Ms Wendie Wilkie.

Media Contacts:
Amjad Mehboob Chief Executive Officer, Australian Federation of Islamic Councils ph: 0408 234 434
John Henderson General Secretary, National Council of Churches in Australia ph: (02) 9299 2215 Or 0419 224 935
Jeremy Jones President, Executive Council of Australian Jewry (02) 9360 1600