Thursday, April 06, 2006

NSW Muslim Council 'not dumping mufti'
Tuesday Apr 4 13:31 AEST

The chairman of the NSW Muslim Council has rejected reports he wants to dump outspoken mufti Sheikh Taj Aldin Alhilali, describing him as a "good friend".
The Australian newspaper reported that a proposal by the NSW Muslim Council to redraw the constitution of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC) is aimed at deposing Sheikh Alhilali from his position as mufti of Australia.
Sheikh Alhilali has been the high-profile spiritual leader of the nation's 300,000 Muslims since 1989.
But NSW council chairman, Neil Kedomi, said the wide-ranging proposal, which will be put to a meeting of Islamic leaders later this month, is not a personal attack on Sheikh Alhilali.
"I have never had a problem with him, he's a good friend of mine," Mr Kedomi told AAP.
"He's the one who has helped me many times. He has the respect of 99.9 (per cent) of the committee and all the people ... who have positions in AFIC."
AFIC's chief executive, Amjad Mehboob, said the position of mufti is currently appointed in an "ad hoc manner", and the NSW Muslim Council's proposal looks to consolidate the position within AFIC's structure.
"The core purpose of the proposal is to formalise the position of the mufti within the structure of AFIC," Mr Mehboob said.
"As far as the mufti is concerned, that is, Sheikh Taj Aldin Alhilali, he is the mufti. This proposal is only going to consolidate his position," Mr Mehboob said.
Mr Kedomi said the proposal will act as an endorsement for Sheikh Alhilali.
"We (drew up) the proposal to make Sheikh Taj (Alhilali) attend the meetings and have a say in AFIC. The mufti ... is more wise than anybody else."
©AAP 2006

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