The Grand Mufti of Australia, Sheikh Abdel Aziem Al-Afifi, has died in Melbourne. (AAP/Facebook)
The Grand Mufti of Australia, Sheikh Abdel Aziem Al-Afifi, has died in Melbourne after being elected to the role only four months ago.
He is being remembered as a leader committed to working with the nation’s youth.
Sheikh Abdel Aziem Al-Afifi had a clear idea of his top priorities when he took over as Grand Mufti of Australia just a few months ago.
“I’ll be very happy if I can do something to save our kids and to keep them away from any bad ideas,” the Grand Mufti said at the time.
“It is our duty to work hard to stop any harm and to keep Australia safe and secure, because we’re all one family and we have to help each other and work together.”
Announcing his death this morning, the Australian National Imams Council (ANIC) said the Grand Mufti had “dedicated himself to serving the Australian Muslim Community for over 20 years.”
He was one of the founding members of the council and had served two terms as its president.
Mr Dellal, the executive director of the Australian Multicultural Foundation, said the Grand Mufti was also well known for his engagement with the wider Australian community.
“He worked tirelessly in the mosques and also out in the community, particularly with young people and also with the general community, with the elderly,” he told The World Today.
“He was really a catalyst for building bridges and he was really greatly admired for a lot of the work he did, particularly with young people.”
Mr Dellal described Sheikh Abdel Aziem Al-Afifi as a very positive person who was concerned with building relationships.
“Where there were misunderstandings, he wanted to correct that; he would bring people together to have those discussions, whether they were Muslim or non-Muslim,” he said.
The ANIC says its executive committee will perform the responsibilities of the Mufti of Australia until an emergency executive committee meeting is held within 15 days.
The council will then elect a new Grand Mufti.