Picture: Britta Campion/The Australian Source:News Corp Australia

31 MAY 2019, Adrianna Zappavigna, AAP

Threats against Muslim community leader Jamal Rifi are being investigated after vile comments were made over his involvement in a charity.

A prominent member of Sydney’s Muslim community has reportedly been threatened over his work with a charity set up to help sick Palestinian children.

Dr Jamal Rifi’s support for Project Rozana has led to him being branded an “enemy” by anti-Israel forces in his local community because the charity has Jewish volunteers, The Australian and The Daily Telegraph reported today.

“To say that I’m working for the Zionists is like saying I am an enemy to my people,” Dr Rifi told The Australian. “That by itself puts me at a greater risk.”

Dr Rifi is a prominent figure in Sydney’s Lebanese Muslim community and is recognised for his work to prevent the radicalisation of young people by Islamic State (IS).

According to reports, someone in Sydney has referred him to Lebanon’s Military Court for possible prosecution — which means he cannot visit for fear of being arrested.

Fearing for his family, Dr Rifi turned to NSW Police to investigate the threats.

“While the investigation remains with local police, appropriate referrals have been made to the Engagement and Intervention Unit and Bias Crime Unit within the Counter Terrorism and Special Tactics Command,” a police spokesman told the Telegraph.

Above: Prime Minister Scott Morrison embraces Jamal Rifi after meeting with Imams and Islamic community leaders during a visit to the Lakemba Mosque in March 2019. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

Project Rozana was set up six years ago by Hadassah Australia, which has links to Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital.

It’s name is derived from Palestinian girl Rozana Salawhi who was saved by doctors at Hadassah after falling from the ninth floor of an apartment block near Ramallah in Palestine’s West Bank. After she fell, her mother refused to let her be treated in a Palestinian facility, according to the charity’s website.

Preferring to have her treated at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, recognised as a world leader in paediatric emergency care, Rozana’s mother made a controversial decision that saved her daughter’s life.