Friday, November 03, 2006

Sheikh al-Hilaly and his supporters are an embarrassment.

World: After his comments you would think the aussie Muslim community would not only denounce but get rid of this idiot. Nope, he has a sizeable amount of support.

The night before, Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali, the mufti of Australia who preaches in Lakemba, had promised today's sermon would deliver a "knockout" sermon. It would be his response to the controversy raging since it was revealed he used a Ramadan speech delivered at the mosque to compare women to meat, who invite rape. People were prepared for violence, but they were wrong. The day ended with many of the thousands of worshippers who gathered to hear him speak taking those same flowers and presenting them to the waiting police. Later still, Sheik Hilali himself was carried from the building, surrounded by hundreds of his supporters, and carrying two bouquets. With a smile, he handed one to the crowd of reporters; the other he gave to a police officer, Constable Michelle Angell, saying: "This is in appreciation and respect for you and the police." Tom Zreika, president of the Lebanese Muslim Association, which owns the mosque, said he believed today would represent Sheik Hilali's "swansong".
Some of those supporters blame the media.
A group of 34 Muslim organisations issued a statement condemning the reaction by media and politicians to the cleric’s description of scantily-clad women as “uncovered meat” inviting rape. The cleric, Sheik Taj Aldin al-Hilali, apologised for his comment after collapsing and being rushed to hospital Monday as he came under relentless pressure to resign as Mufti of Australia. “We believe that the public scrutiny of this matter should have ended with the sheikh’s apology,” the statement said. “Instead, it is clear that certain sections of the media and political establishment have used this incident as an opportunity to vilify the Australian Muslim community. “What we have witnessed over the last week is nothing more than hysteria and sensationalism.” The statement was signed by groups including the United Muslim Women’s Association and the Federation of Australian Muslim Students and Youth, but not by any of the state or national Islamic councils. It compared the continued criticism of the cleric to the subdued mainstream response to the quotation by Pope Benedict XVI in a lecture in Germany last month. “Prime Minister John Howard said that the Pope had ‘expressed his regrets and we should really move on’,” the statement said. “It is unfortunate that the prime minister’s advice was not heeded in this case.” Howard, however, returned to the fray yesterday, urging Muslims to act against the mufti, who was released from hospital on Wednesday. “The failure of the (Islamic) community to resolve this issue is daily doing damage,” Howard told Australian television. “Unless this matter is resolved, and time is running out to resolve it, there will be left a sadly diminished view of the willingness of the Islamic community to integrate into the broader Australian community.”
The difference between the Pope and this moron is the Pope was clearly taken out of context while this cleric was not. Comparing the two just makes matters worse.

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