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High school students to query Muslim leader

7 NOVEMBER 2005

Three secondary school students will ask the president of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, Dr Ameer Ali, about relations between Australian Muslims and non-Muslims since 11 September 2001 in a Talkback Classroom forum at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra this week.

The student panel plans to query Dr Ali about the new anti-terrorism legislation and the war in Iraq. They'll also quiz him on how young Muslims balance their religious and cultural background in Australia's secular society and about the wearing of the hijab in schools.

The students who will interview him are: David Stanley, Year 11, Wellington Point State High School, Brisbane; Gideon Cordover, Year 12, The Friends School, Hobart and Marita Young, Year 11, Guildford Young College, Hobart.

WHAT: Talkback Classroom with Dr Ameer Ali

WHEN: 10am, Wednesday, 9 November 2005

WHERE: Studio, National Museum of Australia, Canberra

Talkback Classroom gives students access to key politicians and public figures as part of the national civics curriculum. Student preparation for Wednesday's interview includes briefings from parliamentarians and academics, as well as a visit to Canberra's mosque.

The final Talkback Classroom guest at the National Museum for the 2005 school year will be Paralympian skier Michael Milton on 23 November.

The Ameer Ali interview will be edited and broadcast on ABC Radio National's Life Matters program.

An economist, Dr Ali is currently a visiting fellow at Murdoch University in Perth. He has also taught at Curtin and Murdoch universities, the University of Western Australia and in universities in Sri Lanka and Brunei Darussalam. He specialises in economic development and globalisation. An Australian citizen, he was born in Sri Lanka.

For more information please contact Sandy Forbes on 02 6208 5351, 0409 916 481 or Leanda Coleman on 02 6208 5338, 0438 620 710 or email media@nma.gov.au