An Islamic preacher, who believes Allah will curse gay people with HIV and AIDS for their “evil actions”, has dined with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at Kirribilli house to mark the end of Ramadan.
Mr Turnbull became the first Australian prime minister to host an iftar, breaking bread with faith leaders.
He hosted the feast on Thursday night, with a guest list that included recent Gold Logie winner Waleed Aly and his wife Susan Carland.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull sat with Gold Logie winner Waleed Aly and his wife Susan Carland. Photo: AAP
Controversial Sheik Shady Al-Suleiman was also invited to the function. Photo: YouTube
Controversial Sheik Shady Al-Suleiman, who was also present the function, made the notorious statements in online videos where he also said women who have sex outside of marriage should be “lashed with 100 lashes” and will be “hung by the breasts in hell”.
He also said “diseases will be set upon” homosexuals, including HIV and AIDS.
Mr Turnbull said an invitation was extended to Sheik Shady as he is the president of the Australian National Imams Council.
“Views like this are wrong, unacceptable and I condemn them,” Mr Turnbull told the Herald Sun.
“Mutual respect is the key to the success of our diverse, tolerant, multicultural society.”
Mr Turnbull hosted the event to mark the end of Ramadan. Photo: AAP
Sheik Shady was one of 60 guests at the dinner, which was aimed at uniting the community against extremism.
Mr Turnbull described Ramadan - the period in which Muslims fast from food and water between dawn and sunset - as a special time of forgiveness, reflection and spiritual renewal.
He also recognised the other faith leaders present to share in the spirit of Ramadan.
"By breaking bread across religions and by bringing diverse people together, we are embodying Islam's emphasis on human diversity," he said reciting a Koranic verse.
Sheik Shady is the president of ANIC and believes gay people will be punished with HIV and AIDS. Photo: ABC
Singling out young Muslims, Mr Turnbull acknowledged the important contribution Muslims have made to Australian society.
He sought to assure them that extremists will not win in their aim to divide Australia.
"Acts of terror like Sunday's massacre in Orlando are perpetrated to divide us along lines of race, religion, sect and sexuality - but that kind of hatred and division must not prevail.
"We must stand together like we do tonight as one Australian family united against terrorism, racism, discrimination and violence."
The prime minister later declared his favourite dishes of the iftar at Kirribilli House was tabouli and fattoush - which is a Lebanese fried bread salad.
The PM said the function was aimed at uniting the community against extremism. Photo: AAP
He confirmed he didn't fast in preparation for the dinner.
"I just showed up here for the meal," Mr Turnbull told Aly on Network Ten's The Project from the dinner.
Labor leader Bill Shorten declined to attend the event.
News break – June 17