Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Australia's Chief Muslim cleric: Rape victims have it coming...

The latest big story from Australia concerns remarks by by Australia's most senior Islamic cleric likening rape victims to uncovered meat that attracted cats.

Sheik Taj Aldin al Hilali's comments were made in a Ramadan sermon;

"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 cats or the uncovered meat?" the sheik said.

"Then you get a judge without mercy... and gives you 65 years," he added.

This is a direct reference to what happened in Sydney six years ago in a famous case involving a series of brutal gang rapes committed by a group of Lebanese Australians, who received that sentence.

This is not the first time this particular Muslim spiritual leader has been in trouble. After 9/11, he called the World Trade Center bombing `justifiable revenge against the oppressors,' questioned the Holocaust and said Jews were at the `root of all wars.'

Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner Pru Goward said the comments could be an incitement to crime.

"Young Muslim men who now rape women can cite this in court, can quote this man... their leader in court," she told Australian media.

"It's time we stopped just saying he should apologise. It is time the Islamic community did more than say they were horrified. I think it is time he left.

"I repeat, I think it was time he was asked to go and I would encourage the authorities to consider whether a man who incites young Muslim men to crime, because that is essentially what he has done, should be allowed to stay. We have got past the stage of everybody rushing around being upset and saying he should apologise and the Islamic community understandably and rightly being annoyed and embarrassed," she said.

"If we are really serious about Islam and Islamic Australia being part of Australia, then I think there has got to be a bit more leadership shown."

According to a poll in Australia's Daily Telegraph, 84 per cent of her fellow Ozzies agree with her and said the Egyptian-born Sheik should be deported.

The mother of one of those rape victims said Sheik al Hilaly had no right to be a religious leader because he was inciting and condoning rape. "He is influential and that's the dangerous thing," she said.

"Other religions would not tolerate his opinions."

Indeed they wouldn't.

Australian PM John Howard also weighed in calling the remarks reprehensible.

"They are appalling and reprehensible comments," Mr Howard told reporters.

"They are quite out of touch with contemporary values in Australia.

"The idea that women are to blame for rapes is preposterous.

"I not only reject the comments, I condemn them unconditionally."

Howard also noted the reference to the Sydney rape trials, saying that the sheik's remarks clearly related to a "particularly appalling" rape trial in Sydney.

Asked if the sheik should resign, Mr Howard replied: "It's not for me to say what position he should hold in the Islamic faith.

"But it is for me as prime minister to say I totally reject the notion that the way in which women dress and deport themselves can in any way be used as a semblance of justification for rape."

Thankfully, a number of Muslims have come forward to condemn these ridiculous remarks.

The former adviser to John Howard's Muslim advisory board Iktimal Hage-Ali called on Sheik Hilali to apologize for comments blaming women for inviting rape.

"I take great offence at that. I am a Muslim woman, I don't wear a headscarf and I am no-one's meat."

"I think the best response from him is to turn around and actually come out and apologise...and not only to the media and the Australian community, but to the people he gave his sermon to because that was his captive audience."

The Islamic Council of Victoria is also calling on Sheik Hilali to resign.

Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV) committee member Sherene Hassan said she was outraged by the comments.

"Those comments are extremely offensive, and there is no basis for what he said in Islamic teachings," Ms Hassan told AAP.

"They are a paternal distortion of Islamic teachings.

"The ICV is issuing a statement calling for his resignation.

"We are calling on him to issue an apology to all Australian people, because his comments are offensive to males and females alike, and we are calling on him to retract those comments.

"There is no justification for rape."

Ms Hassan said she wears a hijab because of her "devotion to God".

"It's a form of identification. Men do not enter the equations. I don't do it to hide from men."

The Islamic Council of NSW has also condemned the sheik's remarks.

The council said the remarks were "un-Islamic, un-Australian and unacceptable".

I symphathize with these genuinely appalled Muslims...and it's absolutely heartening to hear them condemn this garbage.

Unfortunately, the Sheik's remarks do in fact reflect beliefs held by a significant number of Muslims..which is why honor killings, forced female circumcision and a total disregard for womens' rights or well being are so common in the Muslim world. It is the Qu'ran, after all, that sanctions wife beating says that a woman's testimony in court is worth only half of a man's and in every way encourages the idea of women as `property' of men.


Anonymous said...

I symphathize with these genuinely appalled Muslims...

i don't.
that is an oxymoron is it not?
appalled muslims.
how could they be?
just read the next paragraph of you essay for actions taken/justified in the name of their so-called religion.
i can't wait for the femmies to get after this guy the way they did bobby knight.
i'm not holding my breath either.

Anonymous said...

In my country, muslim make up about 2/3 of the population.
Vast majority (out-of-proportion) of the reported incest cases happen in muslim families.
I was hardly surprised by the cleric's remarks.

Anonymous said...

This guy is a total wackadoo, good post, it's in, thanks!

absurd thought -
God of the Universe SCREAMS
cover up you whore...