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Australia Australia's Grand Mufti - the nation's top Islamic cleric - dies after a long cancer fight just four months after he was appointed

03:01  11 july  2018
03:01  11 july  2018 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Grand Mufti of Australia Abdul Azeem al-Afifi (right) has died . He fell into a coma recently Australia ' s top Islamic cleric has died following a long battle with cancer .

Australia ' s Grand Mufti - the nation ' s top Islamic cleric - dies after a long cancer fight just four months after he was appointed . The respect Muslim cleric was appointed to the position in March.

a group of people posing for the camera: Grand Mufti of Australia Abdul Azeem al-Afifi (right) has died. He fell into a coma recently© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Grand Mufti of Australia Abdul Azeem al-Afifi (right) has died. He fell into a coma recently Australia's top Islamic cleric has died following a long battle with cancer.

The Islamic Council of Victoria confirmed on Wednesday morning that the Grand Mufti Abdul Azeem al-Afifi has passed away.

'The Muslim community has lost a great leader,' the organisation said in a statement.

Senior Muslim clerics had asked their followers to pray for al-Afifi as he had fallen into a coma, Daily Mail Australia reported last night.

The sheikh was appointed to the Sunni Muslim leadership position just four months ago.

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Australia ' s top Muslim cleric has died following a long cancer fight . Sheikh Abdullah, who founded the National Conference, was appointed as the head of the government thrice in his lifetime.

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His death could spark a fierce political fight in the Muslim community.

a large crowd of people: Members of Sydney's Muslim community are seen praying during Ramadan© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Members of Sydney's Muslim community are seen praying during Ramadan Senior cleric Waseem Razvi had asked for prayers 'for his health and recovery' on Monday.

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Australia ' s top Islamic cleric is in a coma following a years- long battle with cancer multiple sources said. Muslims are being asked to pray for Grand Mufti Abdul Azeem al-Afifi, who has been ill since before he was appointed to the role in March.

Australia ' s top Islamic cleric died before dawn on Wednesday after cancer fight . Sheikh Abdul Azeem al-Afifi was appointed Grand Mufti in March this year. ' He dedicated himself to serving the Australian Muslim community'.

Islamic community official Muaz Al Haj had confirmed the preacher was in a coma 'after years of fighting cancer'.

Sheikh al-Afifi replaced Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammed in the position in March after a six-year term.

Dr Mohamed was in the role for six years and was criticised by commentators for speaking Arabic, rather than English, during his public appearances.

Both men were born in Egypt.

Sheikh al-Afifi, who is based in Victoria, has been outspoken about the 'disease' of terrorism.

a man wearing a suit and tie: The sheikh only recently replaced Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammed (above)© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The sheikh only recently replaced Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammed (above)

He announced upon his appointment: 'As Mufti I strongly stand against any kind of terrorism.

'We want to keep our country, and all countries, safe and secure.'

The process that resulted in Sheikh Afifi's appointment sparked dissension in the Islamic community.

Daily Mail Australia understands some delegates had expected another candidate to be appointed.

Calls to the Australian National Imams Council were not returned.

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