Challenges of terrorism, extremism and racism must be met with joint action: Indonesian Ambassador warned at OIC Ramadan Dinner

BYYasir Rehman


Canberra: Ambassador of Indonesia and Chairman of OIC heads of mission group in Canberra Yohanes Kristiarto S Legowo has warned that present day multi challenges of terrorism, extremism, xenophobia, prejudice and racism cannot be faced by one nation or community alone rather requires a coordinated action.

“These challenges must be met with joint action and cooperation between nations and understanding and tolerance are especially needed”, he said while addressing at the OIC Ramadan Iftar Dinner at Old Parliament House hosted by 25 OIC member state missions in Canberra.

Ambassador of Indonesia S K Legowo addressing the Iftar Dinner

He said Ramadan is one of the most important annual calendars for Muslims providing them a chance to reflect upon their thoughts and actions.

“Ramadan provides Muslims with the chance to develop and deepening tolerance and mutual understanding including with those who have different backgrounds and may be unfamiliar with the Islamic traditions”, he remarked.

Ambassador of Egypt Mohamed Khairat Mahmoud Khairat and Egyptian Embassy staff coordinated the OIC Iftar Dinner for this year.

Since 2018, the Iftar Dinner has become an annual tradition organized by 25 OIC member state Missions in Canberra with a view to forge a spirit of togetherness, tolerance and mutual understanding.

Ambassador Legowo continued that Islam is a religion that brings blessings and prosperity not just to Muslims but to the whole universe.

Highlighting Muslim nations ties with Australia, Ambassador Legowo said despite many differences that we may have, OIC member countries and Australia have enjoyed decades of strong partnership based on mutual respect understanding and growing mutual confidence.

“Regardless of religious or cultural differences, our partnership is based on common objective of creating a united community and we all are committed to nurture cordial relationship and to promote mutual beneficial cooperation besides promoting mutual understanding”, he told the participants.

Members of Parliament, senior officials from Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ambassadors and High Commissioners, leaders from different faith groups, academics and media representatives attended the OIC annual Iftar Dinner.

He emphasized that we should use the holy month of Ramadan to shape more prosperous and peaceful world where difference could not separate us.

Ambassador Legowo greeted the Australia for successful holding of the 2019 Federal Elections and its subsequent results and expresses his believe that cordial relations between Australia and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) as well as its member states shall continue to flourish.

Tony Sheehan, Deputy Secretary DFAT while addressing the event

Tony Sheehan, Deputy Secretary for international security and consular group, department of Foreign Affairs and Trade who represented the Prime Minister Morrison and Foreign Minister Payne for the event, greeted the Australian Muslims for the holy month of Ramadan.

“Ramadan is a wonderful time to join family and friends in celebration for the common humanity. The practice to breaking fast together across communities and religions and bringing people of diverse background together develops new bonds and understandings”, he said.

Addressing the event he quoted the Prime Minister remarks greeting the Australian Muslims at the beginning of Ramadan that for Muslim community, this is the time for prayer, fasting and for reflection of intense devotion.

He said our shared commitment to tolerance, respect and inclusion bind us together and making us multicultural and multifaceted society, one of the most harmonious in the world.

Referring the massacre in Christchurch, he said this terrible event remind us to continue working together for the strengthening of these ideals.

“With its focus on compassion, restraint and charity, Ramadan is a fitting moment to affirm these eternal values”, he concluded.

All OIC member countries missions in Canberra have their food stalls on display offering the guests the variety of their most delicious traditional cuisines.