September 26, 2006 12:28 PM
Imams Attend Course On Aussie Values
MELBOURNE, Sept 26 (Bernama) --
About 100 Imams and Islamic leaders last night completed a course that denounced extremism and taught an understanding of Australian culture.
Subjects titled Islamic doctrine and the theological proof against extremism and Muslim integration into Australia were included in the Australian-designed and based course.
Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration Andrew Robb, who wants Australia's Islamic clerics to preach sermons in English, attended the graduation ceremony at the Darulfatwa Islamic High Council in Sydneylast night.
Robb said the course was an important step towards teaching Islam in an Australian context.
"Such understanding makes them far more effective in instilling confidence in Australian Muslims that they can be equal and committed members of the community while being true to their faith," he said.
Robb said the course was an extremely positive example of Australia's Imams and Muslim leaders actively supporting the Australian Government in building community cohesion and unity.
Robb said he was encouraged that the Imams had stressed the importance of preaching in English.
"Some fifty per cent of the 360,000 Muslims in Australia are under 25 years of age and most were born in Australia with English as their first language," he said.
"So there is a clear responsibility to deliver the teachings of Islam in English so young people learn about the Quran from the mosque and not the internet."