On behalf of the Australian Government, I wish to express my deepest sympathy to Australia's Muslim Community on the passing early this morning of the Grand Mufti of Australia, Sheikh Abdel Aziem Al-Afifi in Melbourne.
Sheikh Abdel Aziem Al-Afifi was widely respected both in the Muslim community and among other faith and community leaders.
His dedication to the Australian Muslim community over 20 years and work with young people was appreciated by Muslims across Australia.
His election as Grand Mufti of Australia was particularly momentous for him having previously served two terms of the President of the Australian National Imams Council.
His ability to build relationships with a wide range of people saw him regarded as an effective leader and as a man of peace and good will.
I was personally pleased to meet with him and receive his gracious hospitality by sharing an Iftar dinner with him just last month in Melbourne.
I wish to express my sincerest condolences to his family and the Australian Muslim community.