Communiqué regarding positions emerging from discussion at the 4th session of the National Imams Consultative Forum
Regarding recent international events affecting Muslims
The Imams present at the fourth session of the NICF deliberated a number of issues of concern to Australian Muslims that have arisen overseas, including in Syria, Egypt and elsewhere. The details of these issues are complex and raise questions of religious law, humanitarian needs, international obligations, and the individual legal and personal obligations of Australian citizens. The Imams engaged in robust dialogue concerning the appropriate positions to take on these issues. All agreed that:
- Recent events are a cause for significant concern for all Muslims wherever they may be;
- Muslims have a religious obligation to adhere to Muslim religious law, to uphold what is right and prevent what is wrong, and to assist the oppressed with all the lawful means available to them; and
- It is imperative for the Australian government to listen closely and respond to the needs and concerns expressed by Muslim community members, particularly those with family members caught up in conflict zones.
The present Imams also resolved to communicate in order to avoid any misunderstanding, that:
In addition to the requirements of Australian law, the religious obligations of Islam provide that it is an individual and collective obligation for all citizens and residents of Australia to protect life and property in Australia against violence or harm.
This is an unanimous position and emerges directly from the core principles of Islam, including the Holy Qur’an and the authentic practice of the Prophet Muhammad.
24 November 2013