Elaine Forrestal

In Praise of Dr Jamal Rifi

Par­tic­i­pat­ing nation’s flags fly­ing together at the entrance to the Inter­na­tional Book Fair in Bologna.

Doc­tor Jamal Rifi has a med­ical prac­tise in the Bel­more sub­urb of west­ern Syd­ney. He is an immi­grant and a well known mod­er­ate in his Islamic Com­mu­nity. We need more voices like his.

Recently a father came to him for help because his son was show­ing early signs of rad­i­cal­i­sa­tion. Together the two men went to the Imam of their local Mosque and made him aware of the sit­u­a­tion. Through judi­cious coun­selling and appro­pri­ate action they man­aged to nip the son’s rad­i­cal­i­sa­tion in the bud.

In an arti­cle in The Aus­tralian (Tues­day 6th June, p6) Doc­tor Rifi is quoted as saying,

Many Islamic lead­ers are try­ing to hold together their own com­mu­ni­ties. No mat­ter how vig­i­lant the intel­li­gence agen­cies are, they can’t keep tabs on every­one. But we in the com­mu­nity are happy to keep our eyes and ears on our own com­mu­nity because this coun­try is our home, this is where my five kids have been edu­cated and are working.”

Well done Doc­tor Rifi. If only we could clone you!

And well done The Aus­tralian for report­ing this glim­mer of light in a very dark tunnel.