AFIC President Jneid Elected to Top Da’wah Post
Earlier this month, at a meeting attended by Al Faysal Group General Manager Sheikh Shafiq Khan and Australia’s National Grand Mufti, the Most Eminent Sheikh Abdul Quddoos Al Azhari, delegates of RISEAP member nations elected AFIC president Dr Rateb Jneid as Vice President for the elite Southern Zone.
RISEAP’s (Regional Islamic Da’wah Council of Southeast Asia & The Pacific) 19th General Assembly meeting witnessed the proud recognition of AFIC and the AFIC president’s contribution to Da’wa in the region by electing AFIC president Dr Rateb Jneid as Vice President, representing the Southern Zone.
During the Assembly
RISEAP’s Southern zone comprises Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Western Samoa, Vanuatu, Tonga and New Caledonia.
RISEAP is presided by the Premier of Sarawak, currently: The Right Honourable Datuk Patinggi Tann Sri Dr Abang haji Abdul Rahman Zohari Bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg.
The election of Dr Jneid is a tremendous recognition of Australia and specifically AFIC as a major influence in positive Da’wah in the region.
RISEAP’s 19th General Assembly and conference included a Women’s Wing meeting, in which several Australian representatives spoke, including Sr Manal Jneid who raised a number of significant issues on behalf of Australian women and youth. The Most Eminent National Grand Mufti Al Azhari, Sheikh Shafiq Khan and Sr Zubeda Raihman also made significant contributions to the General Assembly.
AFIC President Dr Rateb Jnied addressing the international audience
In his country briefing, Dr Jneid told the international audience that every effort must be made to ensure a respectful unity amongst Muslims and stronger links are made with Muslims throughout the world, especially majority Muslim nations.
RISEAP has long operated as one of the most prominent Islamic Da’wah Bodies of the world, established initially by Tunku Abdul Rahman who in the lead up to the formation of RISEAP was vocal about the demand for an Islamic Da’wah conference in the Southeast Asian and Pacific region. The aim of creating this Da’wah body was so that Muslim countries, organisations and representatives across the Southeast Asian and Pacific regions could progress uniformly and conduct Da’wah in a structured way following developments of science and technology. Prior to RISEAP, the works of various Da’wah organisations were scattered, did not have good support from modern scientific studies and did not cooperate well amongst one another. These individual efforts fell shorts of the Da’wah needs in the region.
The Most Eminent National Grand Mufti Al Azhari
In January 1978, Tunku Rahman wrote of the objectives of this conference to the Honourable Prime Minister of Malaysia, leading to the Prime Minister giving his blessing. The objectives were as follows:
1. To bring together leaders of da’wah movements in the Southeast Asia and the Pacific region for the exchange of views on how best to lay the foundation for future da’wah activities based on the teachings of Islam and the exemplary successful works of missionary movements in the glorious Islamic era of the past.
2. To outline the role of Islamic movement in the informal educational system for contribution towards the molding of strong Islamic character.
3. To study the progress of Da’wah movements
4. To strengthen Islamic Da’wah movements through cooperation.
RISEAP’s 24 nation-members stretch from Indonesia to Western Samoa, including countries such as Sri Lanka, Fiji, Japan, South Korea, Philippines etc. Australia remains a proud member of RISEAP. Dr Jneid’s election to the post will ensure that this region will have a more effective Da’wah presence and that positive Islamic awareness will spread throughout Muslim and non-Muslim communities.
Sr Zubeda Raihman addressing the audience
AFIC has been Australia's peak national body since 1964 having established schools, offices and society (Mosque and Mussalla) membership throughout Australia. AFIC has been subsidising remote-area Imams throughout Australia.