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Indian origin Muslim to head Australian Islamic council

Ikebal Patel is the new president of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils.

india Updated:

An influential Muslim leader of Indian origin has been elected the new president of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC).

Ikebal Patel was elected at a special congress held here Sunday, five months after the council's executive committee was suspended amid claims of software piracy, according to reports.

"With this election, a new chapter of inclusiveness has opened for the Australian Muslim community to join the peak national body," Patel said after his election.

Founded in 1964, AFIC is an umbrella group for various Islamic groups or councils and is considered Australia's most important Islamic organisation.

Patel was instrumental in securing the release of Australian hostage Douglas Wood after he was kidnapped in Iraq in 2005.

Last year, Patel accused AFIC of corruption, misuse of funds, software and data piracy and other illegalities.

First Published: Feb 26, 2007 18:24 IST