ICPA's 21st Distinguished Iftar - Ramadan Dinner
The Islamic Charity Projects Association (ICPA) hosted its 21st distinguished Annual Ramadan Dinner on Friday the 4th of August 2014 at the new community function centre at Al Amanah College in Liverpool. The Annual Ramadan dinner underlined the importance of togetherness, echoed the impression of cultural integration, reinforced communal bonds and demonstrated the exceptional and significant stance within the Muslim community and the Australian community at large that ICPA has made since its establishment in 1989.
The event played host to many distinguished guests including the President of the Islamic Charity Projects Association, Dr Ghayath El-Shelh, the Chairman of Darulfatwa, his imminence Dr. Sheikh Salim Alwan, government officials and representatives including Craig Kelly MP representing the Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Mr. Jason Clare MP representing the federal opposition leader Bill Shorten. Also in attendance was Ms Melanie Gibbons MP representing NSW Premier Mike Baird and Minister Victor Dominello and Mr. Paul Lynch MP, representing State opposition leader John Robertson, Consul of Pakistan Mr. Ahmed Kleem, federal MP Laurie Ferguson, Mr. Tony Issa MP and Shaoquett Moselmane MLC.
Liverpool Mayor Ned Manoun, Deputy Mayor Mr. Mazhar Hadid and Councillor Ali Karnib. Bankstown Mayor Khal Asfour, Auburn Mayor Hicham Zraika, Holroyd Mayor Nasser Kafrouni, Fairfield Councillor George Bashara, and Canterbury Councillor Micheal Hawatt, Bankstown Police Commander Superintendent Dave Eardly, , and a large crowd of sheikhs, presidents of community and sports organizations, Media representatives sporting and community members.
Ramadan is the ninth month on the Islamic lunar calendar. During it, Muslims worldwide fast from dawn until sunset, a period of devotion, reflection, empathy and spirituality. The 21st Annual Ramadan dinner saw over 400 guests join together to share an evening of inspiration and serenity. Given the emphasis on breaking fast with others, the special dinner was not only a celebration of Muslims breaking the fast, but it was an opportunity to do so with local leaders of the community and friends in this vital celebration, a manifestation of harmony.
The proceedings of the event initiated with a humbling and blessed recitation from the Holy Qur’an by the ICPA guest of Honour Sheikh Samir Dabliz who engulfed the event with his harmonious voice. This was followed by a performance of the Australian National anthem by the Al Amanah College choir.
Furthermore, his Eminence Sheikh Dr. Salim Alwan delivered a speech in which he offered some insight into to the virtue of the blessed month of Ramadan as well as stressing the significance of exerting great effort to perform the acts of obedience during the holy month. He also stressed on the importance of obtaining religious knowledge which will serve to enlighten ones heart and mind with goodness, peace and self-discipline. This knowledge is especially important within this day and age with the prevalence of extremism around the world and asserted that Darulfatwa condemns acts of extremism and underlined its role to secure Australia’s safety by spreading the pure Islamic teachings.
The Chairman of the Islamic Charity Projects Association Dr. Ghayath Al Shelh was next to address the gathering where he highlighted the moderate and exceptional stance of the ICPA. He spoke of the noble and pioneering objectives of the association in serving goodness for all people, supplying facilities for the youth, men and women upholding its role as a source of security, harmony and moderation. Thus, ICPA’s objectives are reflected through all of its organizations, in all its factions ranging from educational, scouting and sporting departments and faculties.
“The ICPA lives in moderation in all its factions, in its values and practices it lives in moderation” Dr. Shelh added.
Furthermore, He continued by stating that all Muslims love and respect all Prophets just as they love and respect Prophet Mohammad, Jesus and Moses. Thus, anyone who dispraises any Prophet has seriously hurt Muslims.
This leads to disarray, weakening a society of various backgrounds against the dangers of extremism.
As Dr. Al Shelh asked, “We request of all politicians, and especially Prime Minister Tony Abbott, to respond to campaigns which threaten harmonious living, such as the comments made by a specific presenter who attacked our Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him”
“Sacking the presenter is not enough, there needs to be larger steps taken” said Dr. Al Shelh
Subsequently, a visual projection was exhibited displaying the various achievements and establishments of the Islamic Charity Projects Association drawing a powerful ovation and raising the euphoria of the attendees.
Speeches were then delivered by representatives of Federal and State Governments as well as members of the opposition who commended and praised the success and noble achievements of the Islamic Charity Projects Association and wishing them further success.
The iftar dinner exemplified the expression of community togetherness, solidarity and joy that the month of Ramadan is known to articulate.
The Islamic Charity Projects Association extends its sincere thankfulness all those who attended the Iftar dinner and contributed to the success of the evening.
We ask Allah to grant us prosperity in the return of this blessed month next year.