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Response from the Hawke Centre

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is currently in the US spotlight for his role in proposing a Muslim community centre be built close to the 9/11 Ground Zero site in New York. His 2005 address at the Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre in Adelaide, South Australia has been quoted in various media stories after unauthorised cuts of his address were posted on a US website and YouTube with added headings and visuals.

Audio of interview with Elizabeth Ho, Director of the Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre at the University of South Australia on SIRIUS XM Radio - Tuesday 24 August 2010

This is an interview I gave on US Sirius radio on Tuesday 24 August 2010 which makes clear that I consider the recently presented cuts of the full forum undertaken by Imam Rauf (July 2005) to be misleading. I offer no opinion on the remarks made by Imam Rauf but defend his right, or that of any other speaker in our program, to be heard in full.  Full transcript available here.

Elizabeth Ho
Director
The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, University of South Australia


Director of the Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, Elizabeth Ho

General response to inquiries re Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf

The position statement of the Hawke Centre regarding its public lecture program is clearly stated on our website.

"While the views presented by speakers within the Hawke Centre public program are their own and are not necessarily those of either the University of South Australia or The Hawke Centre, they are presented in the interest of open debate and discussion in the community and reflect our themes of strengthening our democracy - valuing our cultural diversity - and building our future."

The Hawke Centre confirms that Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf was invited by the biennial Adelaide Festival of Ideas, a South Australian State Government sponsored entity, to present his ideas here in a series of free public addresses in July 2005 joining other well known authors, journalists, leaders and topical speakers.

Imam Rauf was well known for his work in building interfaith bridges in the aftermath of 9/11 and in leading the Cordoba initiative, "an interreligious blueprint for improving relations between America and the Muslim world and pursuing Middle East peace".

The Hawke Centre presents more than 40 public engagement events in a year on a range of topics, and as a sponsor of the Festival of Ideas, assisted Imam Rauf's appearance and hosted his public forum on 12 July 2005, 'What does it take to change the relationship between the West and the Muslim world?' in conjunction with the Migrant Resource Centre of South Australia.

The unedited transcript and audio are available on our website to any member of the public. (One very short section was not recorded owing to a technical glitch and that is made clear in the transcript.)

As our position statement makes clear, the Hawke Centre supports open debate and discussion. The Hawke Centre makes no comment on the content of Imam Rauf's forum, and nor does the Migrant Resource Centre of SA.

Much of the audio recorded presentation was him responding to on the spot questions.

Our general position is that if a person is prepared to put themselves on the public record, then their contribution should be provided as they delivered it.

We have presented many speakers with many views. Next week we present US Women of Courage medal winner Suraya Pakzad, Afghani activist for women and children and on September 21, controversial Indian sociologist Ashis Nandy, cited as one of the top 100 public intellectuals in the world by Foreign Magazine. Like Imam Rauf, the content of their addresses will be made available to anyone who visits our site.

We trust that anyone who is interested in any of our speakers' transcripts will read or listen to them in full and they are then free to make their own judgments.


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While the views presented by speakers within the Hawke Centre public program are their own and are not necessarily those of either the University of South Australia or The Hawke Centre, they are presented in the interest of open debate and discussion in the community and reflect our themes of: strengthening our democracy - valuing our diversity - and building our future. 

The copying and reproduction of any transcripts within the Hawke Centre public program is strictly forbidden without prior arrangements.

 

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