Sheik al-Hilali won't quit till the White House is "clean!"
Australia: This is one way to show how unserious your apology for describing women who dress skimpy are asking to be raped.
|AUSTRALIA'S leading Muslim cleric, Sheik Taj Aldin al-Hilali, says he will only resign when the world is "clean of the White House". After emerging from Friday prayers at Lakemba Mosque today, Sheik al-Hilali was asked by a media pack whether he would quit over a speech in which he said scantily-dressed women invited rape. "After we clean the world of the White House first," the sheik said. Supporters of the sheik cheered and applauded loudly at the comments, which were directed firmly at US President George W Bush. The sheik has previously described Mr Bush, UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and Prime Minister John Howard as the axis of evil. Despite calls from within the Islamic community for his resignation, Sheik Alhilali has been assured he has the support of grass-roots Muslims, a supporter said. Other Muslim figures have called for him to stand down over a sermon last month in which he likened immodestly dressed women to uncovered meat. Several thousand Muslims attended prayers at Lakemba Mosque today where British Imam Abdul Jalil Sajid gave the sermon in English in place of Sheik al-Hilali. Supporter and president of the Islamic Friendship Association of Australia, Keysar Trad, says the sheik will not resign but is taking a break which will include a pilgrimage to Mecca. "Reaction from the grass roots is that we appreciate all the hard work the mufti has put in for the community," Mr Trad said outside Lakemba Mosque, where more than 2,000 Muslims gathered for Friday prayers today. "We're certainly not going to pass judgment on the basis of one comment in which we know his intentions were completely different. "The grass roots are behind him."|