Australian online forum set to feature Taliban members cancelled

An online forum for members of the Australian Muslim community that would have featured representatives of the Taliban in Afghanistan has been cancelled after public outcry.

Australian online forum set to feature Taliban members cancelled

An online forum for members of the Australian Muslim community that would have featured representatives of the Taliban in Afghanistan has been cancelled after public outcry.

The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC) announced today it would not proceed with the online event.

AFIC, which has branches in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, said the original aim had been to assemble a panel of "distinguished individuals" to interview representatives of the new regime controlling Afghanistan.

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They had hoped to obtain "assurances for the rights of minorities, the rights of women to employment and education", and to dissuade Australians from travelling to Afghanistan "with any wrongful intent", AFIC said in a statement.

AFIC said discussions had taken place with "officials" in Australia regarding the event.

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"The event was not convened to legitimise any group or to offend any group, it was purely to obtain the afore-stated assurances," AFIC President Dr Rateb Jneid said.

However, there was a controversial public reaction when AFIC advertised the event on their Facebook page, with the organisation saying it had generated support and criticism.

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"In view of the developments, I have taken the executive decision to cancel the event," Dr Jneid said.

In a joint statement, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and Immigration Minister Natalie Ward said the government had contacted AFIC over the event.

"We asked AFIC to cancel this event and they have agreed to do so," the statement read.

"The New South Wales community is currently opening its arms to refugees and Australian repatriates from Afghanistan.

"We join Muslim community leaders in NSW, and especially Afghan community leaders, in condemning events of this kind.

"We are relieved for all members of our community that this event has been cancelled and look forward to a continued constructive relationship with AFIC."

Source : 9 News More   

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