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Friday, July 1, 2016

Guess who's coming to Iftar?

A widely-publicised Iftar dinner, intended to show that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull gets what it means to be inclusive, ended badly after he was advised that one of his guests, Sheikh Shady Alsuleiman, had taught that Islam prescribes death for adulterers, and homosexuals spread diseases. No rogue maverick, Australian-born Sheikh Shady is the elected national president of the Australian National Imams Council.

Although insisting that ‘mutual respect is absolutely critical’, Turnbull subjected this prominent Muslim leader to public humiliation. He regretted inviting him to dinner and counselled the sheikh ‘to reflect on what he has said and recant’. In the middle of an election, wanting to limit fallout from the dinner-gone-wrong, held only days after the Orlando massacre, Turnbull stated that his no-longer-welcome guest’s views are ‘wrong, unacceptable and I condemn them’.