Friday, October 27, 2006
As you know, the latest big story from Australia concerns remarks by Australia's most senior Islamic cleric likening rape victims to uncovered meat that attracted cats.
Sheikh Taj Din al-Hilali caused outrage in Australia by saying, essentially, that women who chose not to cover themselves were asking to be raped and directly referred to a particularly brutal series of gang rapes perpetrated by Muslims that took place in Sydney. He was initially `cleared' by the board of Sydney's Lakemba Mosque where he preaches, but was then suspended from preaching for two to three months.
Needless to say, this isn't washing either with with Australians in the main or even with some Muslims.
They're calling for the sheik's resignation, including Australian PM John Howard, who unequivocally condemned the Sheik's ignorant remarks, called for his resignation and urged the Muslim community to act decisively to repudiate the sheik to avoid appearing to endorse or excuse his statements.
"What I am saying to the Islamic community is this: If they do not resolve this matter, it could do lasting damage to the perceptions of that community within the broader Australian community," Howard told Southern Cross Broadcasting.
"We do not want the Islamic community isolated. We do not want the Islamic community to be an object of criticism and derision."
"If it is not resolved, then unfortunately people will run around saying: 'Well, the reason they didn't get rid of him is because secretly some of them support his views," PM Howard said.
Asked today if he would resign, the cleric, who was treated like a rock star while welcoming worshippers to Friday prayers at the mosque like nothing had happened, responded with a verbal assault on President Bush, saying: "After we clean the world of the White House first".
The sheik has referred to President Bush, PM Howard and British PM Tony Blair constituted an 'axis of evil' for declaring war on Saddam Hussein's regime, which should give you an idea of how twisted and warped this man truly is, that he would criticize nations that, whatever the reasons, removed a tyrant who was murdering and brutalizing Muslims.
The sheik also made headlines in Australia before for glorifying jihad `martyrdom' and describing the September 11 attacks as "God's work against the oppressors."
His latest nonsense really made the fit hit the shan, when he essentially said that rape victims were `asking for it' by the way they were dressed and by specifically referring to the case I mentioned above and characterizing the judge who ruled to convict the Muslim rapists as `without mercy.'
"If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it ... whose fault is it, the catÂs or the uncovered meat? The uncovered meat is the problem... And then you get a judge without mercy who gives you 65 years," he said in the sermon.
But the Lakemba Mosque Association was adamant that the 3 month ban on preaching was sufficient `punishment' and that "certain statements" made by Sheikh al-Hilali had been `misinterpreted.'
"Obviously those comments have been made, but he provided us with an apology for saying so," said Toufic Zreika, President of the Association.
Women's groups and Muslim leaders, especially women found this to be ridiculous. Pru Goward, Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner, accused Sheikh al-Hilali of inciting rape, and said the temporary ban on preaching was inadequate punishment.
"I know how strongly many Islamic community people felt about those comments yesterday, how damaging they saw them in terms of Australian-Islamic relations, and I think the pressure should not be taken off just because he has agreed to be silent for three months, which we have also seen before," she told ABD radio.
Waleed Aly, spokesman for the Islamic Council of Victoria state, said: "It would seem to us that the comments ... have really caused a lot of pain to a lot of people, and in those circumstances we would have thought resignation was the appropriate course of action."
This is a challenge for Australia's Muslim community and a signpost to the future. As I mentioned, this digusting, ignorant man was greeting people at his mosque as usual, in good standing with the Muslims there with no other consequences than to have to keep his foul mouth shut for a couple of months to let the fury die down.
Is this the face Australia's Muslims want to present to their neighbors? And I'm not only speaking about his remarks on rape. Is the Lakemba Mosque willing to continue to endorse and support this pro-jihadi apologist for terrorism?
Will they have the courage to take a stand against misogyny and hatred, or will they do what Muslims in the West have too often done..keep silent like obediant sheep, and by being silent, give affirmation to people like the sheik?
Posted by Freedom Fighter at 8:55 AM