Uniting Church President Expresses Condolences

Members of the Uniting Church’s 15th triennial Assembly have fallen silent to honour Australia’s most senior Muslim cleric, who passed away in Melbourne today.

“I have some sad news to pass on to members of the Assembly,” President Dr Deidre Palmer told the Church’s three-yearly national meeting.

“The Grand Mufti of Australia Sheikh Abdel Aziem Al-Afifi passed away this morning. Sheikh Al-Afifi was only four months into his role.”

“I had the pleasure of meeting him at an Iftar dinner in May.

“He was a warm and engaging man who I was looking forward to working with as a faith leader.

“I feel this is a real loss for our country. As President of the Uniting Church, I want to pass on our deep condolences to the Australian Muslim Community.

“I’d like to commend Sheikh Al-Afifi to God, and offer our prayers for his family and loved ones, and for the Muslim community of Australia, that they may find comfort in this time of grief.”