Malcolm Turnbull invites hate preacher to Iftar dinner

AN HISTORIC dinner held at the Prime Minister's official residence is in danger of being overshadowed by one of the guests invited to break bread in Kirribilli House.

Malcolm Turnbull is the first Australian leader in history to host an Iftar dinner, an event that marks the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Dining with the Prime Minister was Gold Logie winning host Waleed Aly and his wife Susan Carland, along with Muslim community leaders, multi-cultural foundation heads and Archbishop of Sydney Reverend Glen Davies.

Also on the guest list, though not seated with the Prime Minister, was an Islamic preacher who has called for on God to "destroy the enemies of Islam" and once described AIDS as a "divine punishment for gays", according to News Limited.

Sheik Shady Al-Suleiman is also the national president of the Australian National Imams Council.

During the event, Mr Aly prodded the Prime Minister about the NBN, forcing Mr Turnbull to publicly admit he did not know if his official residence was connected to the high-speed internet network.

"It is very well connected to broadband," Mr Turnbull told Aly during the jovial chat.

Mr Turnbull said he also wasn't sure when Kirribilli House was due to receive NBN, if indeed it was going without it at the moment.

Mr Aly also asked why guests at the Iftar dinner weren't invited to dine with him at his Point Piper mansion.

"You do have another house, which is kind of better than this one. Why couldn't we go there?,'' Aly said.

"Well this is the official residence of the PM in Sydney. And it's great for a big function like this," Mr Turnbull responded.

Mr Turnbull used the event to call on Muslim leaders to act as "one Australian family united against terrorism" in the aftermath of the Orlando shooting which left 50 people dead.

"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."

Topics:  editors picks ramadan

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