Tribune International (Australia), 1st March 2024; In a significant move, both the Victorian Premier, Jacinta Allan, and the Premier of New South Wales (NSW), Chris Minns have announced the cancellation of their respective Iftar dinners for the upcoming Ramadan month. This decision comes following the boycott by major Islamic organizations in Victoria and New South Wales, including the Islamic Council of Victoria, Australian National Imams Council (ANIC) and the Islamic Council of NSW (ICNSW), and Islamic Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC).

The Victorian Premier’s announcement on Thursday, February 29, was met with reverberations across the community. The NSW Premier swiftly followed suit, echoing the sentiment of solidarity with the concerns raised by the Islamic community.

Australian Muslims have expressed profound distress and mourning over the ongoing crisis in Palestine, particularly the recent escalation of violence and oppression in Gaza and the West Bank. The brutal military operations conducted by Israeli forces have resulted in widespread condemnation and calls for action.

The Islamic community in Australia has been actively engaged in demonstrations, protests, and rallies since October 2023, denouncing the genocide and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. Key Muslim organizations in NSW and Victoria have urged the community to boycott the Premiers’ Iftar dinners, highlighting the Labor Party’s perceived inaction in addressing the humanitarian crisis in Palestine and the constraints faced by Muslim worshipers at Masjid Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem.

International reports have indicated a staggering death toll among Palestinians, with over 30,000 casualties, including 10,000 children. The indiscriminate bombardment and military operations by Israeli forces continue unabated, adding to the urgency of the situation.

In response to the outcry from the Islamic community, several Islamic organizations and multicultural events have cancelled their planned activities to express solidarity with the people of Palestine. The founder director of the Chand Raat Eid Festival (CREF) – a renowned multicultural Eid celebration – Syed Atiq ul Hassan, announced last week the cancellation of CREF 2024 in light of the tragic events unfolding in Palestine and the political turmoil in Pakistan.

The cancellation of the Premiers’ Iftar dinners and other events reflects a unified stance of support and solidarity with those affected by the ongoing crisis. It underscores the importance of standing together in the face of injustice and advocating for peace and justice in the region.


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