Assuming the accuracy of this story on Channel 7 News (it is not yet on ABC) then Sheik Taj el-Din al Hilaly has really confirmed his role as a total clown.
The sheik was invited to appear on Egyptian television to explain his sermon comparing women who show some skin, to uncovered pieces of meat that invite predators. At the time, Sheikh al Hilaly claimed his comments were taken out of context, but on Today in Cairo he defended the remarks, blaming the media for the national outcry.
“This is a calculated conspiracy aimed at terrorising our Islamic community, aimed at me first in order to bring the Islamic community to its knees,” Sheik Hilaly said in Arabic. He went further, claiming Muslims had more right to be in Australia than the ancestors of convicts.
“Westerners are the biggest liars, especially the English,” the sheik said in translation. “The Anglo-Saxons came to Australia in shackles, while we paid for our own tickets.”
He also claimed Australia’s courts were racist for sentencing Bilal Skaf to 55 years’ jail for gang rape.
Even the sheik’s closest advisers fear a backlash over the latest remarks. They have apologised for the comments, saying the sheik’s words will cause offence.
“As a Muslim Australian, I can just apologise for the remarks,” the sheik’s spokesman Keysar Trad told 7 News.
Idiot! Really, if he stayed in Egypt we would be all better off, and that definitely includes Sydney’s Muslims. Egypt, however, perhaps has enough problems. The guy may be many things, but total goose must be high up the list.
Or am I just biased because I am the descendant of convicts AND Aboriginal Australians — and others? If he had claimed Muslims have as much right to be in Australia as anyone else, I may well have agreed with him, but this is just bigoted shit, to coin a phrase. What else would you call it?
I leave my initial reaction above uncensored, and still think the man is a total embarrassment, but in a subsequent interview the spokesman for the Mufti, Keysar Trad, who has had to spin the M’s outbursts before, does make at least one valid point: the Mufti is in fact an Australian citizen expressing his doltish viewpoint, except Keysar didn’t say doltish… We do too easily label things as Muslim OR Australian, and the Mufti has himself too frequently contributed to this sloppy thinking. But we really need to resist that trend.
George Bush and all that
You can read elsewhere whatever suits your view. John Howard has given his unqualified support, so long as we have nothing to do with it… Looking at Bush and Cheney, I have recently found myself seeing Laurel and Hardy (in that order) instead. You recall their famous tag line? “That’s another fine mess you’ve got me into…” I guess you have to hope for everyone’s sake that “surging” is more than a washing machine cycle.