The organiser of an Islamic conference to be held in Melbourne has met a sheikh who supported jihad in Syria and the use of suicide bombers against Israelis.
Waseem Razvi will hold the second Peace Conference on Sunday, two years after a similar event was criticised for supporting anti-Semitic and sexist views.
It can be revealed that Mr Razvi met Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, head of the International Union for Muslim Scholars, after the "great success" of the previous conference.
Qaradawi has been widely condemned for issuing fatwas in support of suicide bombing in Israel in the 1990s, and the travel of Muslims to Syria to fight against the Assad regime.
Last year, Interpol issued an arrest warrant for Qaradawi, who is wanted by Egyptian authorities for incitement and assistance to commit murder, helping prisoners to escape, arson, vandalism and theft. According to Egyptian media, the charges relate to a prison escape during the 2011 uprising that ousted president Hosni Mubarak.
Qaradawi, 88, is also reported to have twice been offered the Egyptian leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood, and has been banned from entering the US and UK.
Mr Razvi, the president and founder of the Islamic Research and Educational Academy (IREA), wrote on the group's Facebook page in November 2013 that he visited Qaradawi in Qatar, where he has lived since fleeing his native Egypt.
He wrote that Qaradawi supported the weekly street dawah organised by the IREA, which involves members speaking to the public and handing out free copies of the Koran, pamphlets and CDs in a bid to convert them to Islam. The IREA regularly holds dawah in Melbourne's CBD, including in Bourke Street mall and at Flinders Street station.
He wrote that Qaradawi had been told the conference was a "great success" as it had helped "unite Muslims of Australia on a single platform as well [as]... open doors of communication between Muslims & Non Muslims in Australia.
"Sheikh was very happy on listening to the Dawah activities in Australia by IREA and advised him to have a very good communication with all the mosques and organizations across Australia."
Mr Razvi has come under fire this week for using children, including a five-year-old boy who he claims can recite the Koran, to promote the conference, which will be held at the Melbourne Convention Centre.
The four speakers who have been advertised as appearing at the conference are all Melbourne-based, but international speakers, representatives of other religions, and Victoria Police may also attend, according to an IREA press release issued on Sunday.
The IREA did not respond to Fairfax Media questions about the event before deadline, but the press release urges media to avoid "Bigotry, scare mongering Journalism & Obnoxious Islamophobe narrative".
In 2013, The Age reported that Mr Razvi hoped his three-day conference would attract 20,000 people and be the "largest, the biggest and the best-ever Islamic event in the history of Australia".
But the star speaker, Dr Abdul Rahman al-Sudais, never showed, after it was revealed he called for the annihilation of Jews, whom he described as the "scum of humanity", "rats of the world", "prophet killers" and "pigs and monkeys".
Mr Razvi recently opened his first IREA centre, which offers regular lectures, workshops and prayers, in Hoppers Crossing.
This from the man himself.
LIAR runs away from being caught again
Ayan Hirsi Ali popular Islamophobe cancels her tour to Australia
Well done Australians :)
May Allah reward all those who worked towards stopping her LYING narrative instilling fear and division amongst masses
Hats off to
'COUNCIL FOR PREVENTION OF ISLAMOPHOBIA' for taking it to the next level (Protest events page:https://www.facebook.com/events/1300589346689344??ti=ia)
Today's article: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/…/130e9e7659bcc8de20f4cb03f…
^ Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a noted Islam critic and author, has cancelled her Australian tour due to security concerns.