Source: Australian Broadcasting Corporation
On November 24, 2004 Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported, "A leading Muslim cleric, Sheikh Taj el-Din Al Hilaly, has described the Foreign Affairs minister Alexander Downer as 'racist' and 'vindictive.' Mr Downer has chosen the heads of religious organisations to represent Australia at a regional interfaith delegation in Indonesia next month. But the Mufti has been left out of the delegation. Instead the Federal Government has selected Dr Ameer Ali, the President of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, who's not a member of the clergy. The Mufti thinks he's been snubbed because of his outspoken views on the Howard Government. "