Adjust size of text


Follow us and continue the conversation

Your saved articles

You haven't saved any articles

What are you looking for?

JCCV suspends relations with Islamic Council of Victoria

The peak Jewish body says it can no longer work with its Islamic equivalent after comments it describes as “malicious and outrageous”.
Deborah Stone
Print this
Man wearing keffiyah at a microphone

ICV president Adel Salman speaks at a pro-Palestinian rally in Melbourne in December (ICV)

Published: 4 March 2024

Last updated: 21 March 2024

The peak Jewish body says it can no longer work with its Islamic equivalent after comments it describes as “malicious and outrageous”.

Relations between Jews and Muslims in Victoria have struggled since October 7. The Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV), the peak body for Victoria’s Muslim community, has consistently refused to condemn the October 7 massacre or terrorism in general.

On Saturday, the ICV released a statement accusing the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) of an “Islamophobic smear campaign” against its president Adel Salman. It also launched a social media campaign with the catchline “Zionists can go to hell, we will stand with Adel”.

The move was the last straw in a desperate attempt to maintain civil relations between the two peak bodies. JCCV president Philip Zajac said the attack on the JCCV was malicious and outrageous, and the JCCV would suspend relations with the ICV.

“It is a toxic, anti-Zionist, almost antisemitic statement, almost praising what happened on October 7,” Zajac said.

“There are Islamic leaders we can talk to but relationships with the official body, the ICV, have now broken down. The feeling is that as long as the ICV refuses to condemn terrorism, the JCCV simply cannot have a relationship with them.”

Zajac called on the Victorian Government and other Victorian faith leaders to “similarly reject working with the ICV while it continues to sow division and hate”.

Key to the collapse in relations are statements by Salman and ICV vice president Mohamed Mohideen.

Salman has described October 7 as “legitimate resistance” and told a rally a couple of weeks after the massacre that “everything that has happened is a legitimate response to occupation and siege”. Last week, he again refused a direct request to condemn the October 7 massacre.

Mohideen, a Victorian Multicultural Commissioner, was investigated by the commission for inflammatory social media activity and for involvement in doxing a Jewish man. He removed one post after the investigation.

The breach in interfaith relations is deeply disappointing for many Jewish leaders who have worked on interfaith dialogue for years and there was widespread consultation before the decision was made. Even those who have been at the forefront of interfaith relations for the Jewish community are despairing about maintaining relations with the ICV.

Zajac said the JCCV would continue to work with other Islamic leaders and has held productive and respectful meetings with many "reasonable" Islamic leaders, although none who sit on the ICV board.

The breakdown between the Jewish and Muslim peak groups is an indication of the damage to social cohesion in Australia which has resulted from conflict over the Gaza war.

“Everybody I meet from the Governor of Victoria down is concerned about social cohesion,” said Zajac. He said the JCCV was still committed to working with the Muslim community to rebuild social cohesion.

“There are a number of people [in the Muslim community] who are wanting continued dialogue with the Jewish community, and we will reach out to them and slowly try and rebuild the relationship from the ground up with individuals and hopefully it will gather some momentum.”

The Jewish, Muslim and Christian Association has also effectively ceased to function in the wake of October 7 and the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.


Australian pro-Palestine group declares acts of terror 'ethically justified' in chilling video, as police launch probe into the organisation over alleged assaults (Sky)
An urgent police probe into a pro-Palestine protest group that claims "any sort of terrorism we might commit is justified resistance" is underway after it was accused of assaulting a group of Jews in front of the Melbourne Town Hall.

About the author

Deborah Stone

Deborah Stone is Editor-in-Chief of TJI. She has more than 30 years experience as a journalist and editor, including as a reporter and feature writer on The Age and The Sunday Age, as Editor of the Australian Jewish News and as Editor of ArtsHub.


No comments on this article yet. Be the first to add your thoughts.

The Jewish Independent acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of Country throughout Australia. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and strive to honour their rich history of storytelling in our work and mission.

Enter site