Foot-in-mouth Mufti…

26 Oct

NOTE Make sure you also read the entry I am putting up the morning after.

Sheikh Taj El-Din Hamid Hilaly has been in Australia for over twenty years. Hard to believe then that he would be such a goose, especially today, to express himself as he did according to The Australian report Muslim leader blames women for sex attacks. It’s not the first time the Sheikh has been a goose either, and Keysar Trad is really pushing the proverbial uphill in his attempts to defend the man’s tact and common sense, at the very least: he seems to have neither, does he? For some of the to-ing and fro-ing see Muslim leader’s sexist sermon causes uproar (Radio National).

The young Muslims on Sydney’s MuslimVillage Forums start with disbelief, quite rightly pointing out that the source, a Murdoch newspaper, may be seen as tainted. The last entry (at this moment) refers us to a translation on Yahoo7*. It seems clear to me that he has recent well-publicised Sydney cases in mind when he says:

But in the event of adultery, the responsibility falls 90 per cent of the time with women not men. Why? Because the woman possesses the weapon of seduction. She is the one who takes her clothes off, cuts them short, acts flirtatious, puts on makeup, shows off, and goes on the streets acting silly. She is the one wearing a short dress, lifting it up, lowering it down, then a look, then a smile, then a word, then a greeting, then a word, then a date, then a meeting, then a crime, then Long Bay Jail, (laughs – one word not clear), then comes a merciless judge who gives you 65 years.

But he is talking about adultery rather than rape, so people will continue to take his words in whatever way suits them — except that obviously I disagree with him, and can’t see how his perhaps humorous (believe that or not) illustration is unfortunate to say the least.

The Sheikh remains a goose, but the motives of the Australian in publicising his remarks (not all that different to the kind of thing you find in many a fundamentalist Christian church, if you bothered to look) can be questioned. See Sexual Purity — for Faith and Family and Christian Apparel on Called to Holiness; my citation of this does not imply it is my version of Christian teaching:

Although modesty is incumbent on all, I think that it is easily seen that this question of modest apparel is more especially a feminine problem. With no more than a casual look at people on the street, at the various television programs, movies, advertisements, covers on paperback books, etc., it is obvious that immodesty in apparel is almost wholly a problem with the female sex. Observe a man and a woman at some formal engagement such as a ball or a party. The man will be fully covered by a black suit, white shirt, black tie, black shoes and black socks. And the woman? Her arms, shoulders, and part of her breasts will be completely exposed to view and the gown will be very colorful and frivolous.

As a result of the curse, a woman’s greatest carnal desire is to be desired by men. Thus, apart from grace, the moment that a girl enters puberty the opposite sex dominates her thoughts. From that point on almost everything she does is in some way directed to entice men. It is in her blood and she can do nothing about it. Although there are a few exceptions, this is a general rule. At every stage in a woman’s life her thoughts are dominated by the desire to attract men. And women instinctively know that men are easily lured by sex.

The ERA movement notwithstanding, men and women are not equal. It is foolish to discuss the question of equality between men and women. In order to make comparisons of equality the items being compared must be of the same kind. One may compare apples to apples, but not apples to oranges. Women are not just men with different sex organs. Women are different because the mother role requires an emotional and mental make-up that is different. Men and women were not meant to compete with each other, but to complement and complete each other. This difference is easily seen by observing the young boy when he enters puberty. Although a much more powerful sex drive is alive in the boy than in the girl, girls play a minor role in his life if he has been raised decently and away from corrupting influences. If the girls would leave him alone, he would leave them alone. Boys are almost always more shy with girls than girls with boys…

Not a thousand miles from Sheikh Taj El-Din Hamid Hilaly, is it?

Should he be sacked and deported for this? Probably not. Sacked, perhaps: but that really is a matter for his constituents. Deported? Not for this alone, I wouldn’t think. Should he be ignored as tragic and irrelevant? Definitely! See the report on Islamic Sydney: Australian Muslims brace for rape blame fury.


I am developing a new blog on Journal Space which will rescue some posts from Blogspot as they become relevant or interesting; especially I intend to rescue much of the Books and Ideas blog. Why? because so often lately one hasn’t been able to access either Blogger or Blogspot, and even when it is “working” it can take several refreshes before anything can be seen. I have put up some material relevant to this entry, especially The Battle for Islam.

* Later

There is an independent translation on SBS.

“Those atheists, people of the book (Christians and Jews), where will they end up? In Surfers Paradise? On the Gold Coast? Where will they end up? In hell and not part-time, for eternity. They are the worst in God’s creation.”

“When it comes to adultery, it’s 90 percent the woman’s responsibility. Why? Because a woman owns the weapon of seduction. It’s she who takes off her clothes, shortens them, flirts, puts on make-up and powder and takes to the streets, God protect us, dallying. It’s she who shortens, raises and lowers. Then, it’s a look, a smile, a conversation, a greeting, a talk, a date, a meeting, a crime, then Long Bay jail. Then you get a judge, who has no mercy, and he gives you 65 years.”

Leaving out the much quoted bit about uncovered meat being eaten by the cat — an allusion to a writer named al-Rafee apparently — let me give the last two paragraphs, not in the Yahoo version:

“Satan sees women as half his soldiers. You’re my messenger in necessity, Satan tells women you’re my weapon to bring down any stubborn man. There are men that I fail with. But you’re the best of my weapons.”

“…The woman was behind Satan playing a role when she disobeyed God and went out all dolled up and unveiled and made of herself palatable food that rakes and perverts would race for. She was the reason behind this sin taking place.”

Yes, it is crap. But not so far from: “As a result of the curse, a woman’s greatest carnal desire is to be desired by men. Thus, apart from grace, the moment that a girl enters puberty the opposite sex dominates her thoughts. From that point on almost everything she does is in some way directed to entice men. It is in her blood and she can do nothing about it.”

Go from both these outrageously patriarchal rants to something more sensible: Women in Islam from Islam for Today, and a cautious article from a 2003 Uniting Church Insight Magazine called Reading the Bible.

…It is not a textbook nor a law-book. Its teaching is embedded in the cosmological and sociological outlook of Hebrew and Greek cultures of 1,500 to 2,500 years ago. Many of its laws assume that agriculture is the predominant occupation, that women are subservient to men both economically and politically and that slavery is a normal and acceptable social institution…

… the Bible also contains some strict requirements about what to eat, how to wash and about the appropriate treatment of lepers, slaves and women. Very few Christians bother to get to know these laws, let alone follow them. And if practicing Christians endeavored to implement Biblical laws and injunctions about the distribution of wealth, the Western economic system would be thrown in to complete chaos…

Strange world, isn’t it?

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2 responses to “Foot-in-mouth Mufti…

  1. Daniel

    October 27, 2006 at 8:08 am

    Your final sentence must surely qualify as the understatement of the millenium, Neil!

    The Mufti shouldn’t be judged too harshly. After all, his mind is cluttered with religion which, like a drug, distorts his every thought and colours everything he sees. Cheers!

  2. ninglun

    October 27, 2006 at 10:36 am

    See Media statement by the Mufti.

    I am shocked at the manner my words have been interpreted

    The Australian front page article reported selected comments from a talk presented one month ago. The title was “why men were mentioned before women for the crime of theft and woman before men for the sin of fornication.”

    I spoke about the causes that lead to fornication for both men and women. If the sin should occur, then both the man and the woman would be equally guilty of fornication. This has no relation to rape. I would like to unequivocally confirm that the presentation related to religious teachings on modesty and not to go to extremes in enticements, this does not condone rape, I condemn rape and reiterate that this is a capital crime.

    Women in our Australian society have the freedom and right to dress as they choose the duty of man is to avert his glance or walk away. If a man falls from grace and commits fornication then if this was consensual, they would be both guilty, but if it was forced, then the man has committed a capital crime.

    Whether a man endorses or not, a particular from of dress, any form of harassment of women is unacceptable.

    Our duty is to call for ethics, values and respect. Every person is responsible for self accountability.

    As a staunch supporter for the rights of women, I am very saddened that my words have been understood in this way.

    I fully respect women, any degrading conduct towards or disrespect to woman is degrading conduct and disrespect for my mother, my sister, my wife and my daughter.

    I unreservedly apologise to any woman who is offended by my comments, I had only intended to protect women’s honour, something lost in the Australian presentation of my talk.

    Courtesy of Muslim Village Forums Sydney.

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