Wave of disgust forces Australian Muslim group to cancel webinar with Taliban


A prominent Muslim organization in Australia has canceled a live webinar inviting two top Taliban members to speak after public outcry.

The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils had organized a lineup of keynote guests to speak at Saturday’s online event, which aims to “discuss the future of Afghanistan and our role, whether we are for or against recent developments.” to be’.

Speakers included longtime Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen and senior figure Sayed Abdul Basir Sabiri.

Two top Taliban members invited to address Australian Muslims (photo Taliban members in Afghanistan)

On Thursday afternoon, AFIC released a letter stating that Dr. Rateb Jneid, the organization’s president, had made the “executive decision” to cancel the event.

The group said it had invited Taliban members to speak “in hopes of securing guarantees for minority human rights, women’s rights to work and education, and to deter Australians from entering the region with malicious intent.” to travel’.

“The event was not convened to legitimize a group or to offend any group,” Dr Jneid added.

“The event … generated both support and criticism, both public and private … In view of these developments, I have made the executive decision to cancel the event,” he said.

Long-time Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen (pictured) is among the speakers

Long-time Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen (pictured) is among the speakers

The news of the webinar sparked public outcry.

“This is absolutely horrific and it shouldn’t be happening,” 2GB breakfast host Ben Fordham said on his show on Thursday.

“The Taliban are getting the chance here in Australia to brainwash young Muslims.”

Afghan refugees from the Hazara minority who had to flee the country in the 1990s called the event “completely inappropriate”.

“It’s really traumatizing to see such faces at a prominent event like this,” said refugee lawyer Sitarah Mohammadi. the Australian.

“Our people have suffered so terribly at their hands, and continue to do so to this day.”

Other speakers include AFIC President Rateb Jneid, National Grand Mufti of Australia Imam Abdul Quddoos Al Azhari will also be among the speakers and Islamic jurist Mohammad Naqib Jan.

Mr Jneid defended the event and said it was an opportunity for the participants to find out what was happening in Afghanistan.

“We have many Afghan families who are concerned about their loved ones in Afghanistan and want to hear about the government’s intentions there.” he told the publication.

Promotion of this Saturday's live webinar (pictured) has sparked outrage in the community

Promotion of this Saturday’s live webinar (pictured) has sparked outrage in the community

Taliban fighters regained power in Afghanistan in August after the government collapsed when President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, ending a two-decade campaign to transform the country by the US and its allies, including Australia.

Afghans who have supported Australian Defense Force troops for years as translators, guards and aides are still in the city and now face jail time under the Taliban rule.

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