Sydney’s mad Mufti strikes again?

11 Jan

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?

Second thoughts

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.

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7 responses to “Sydney’s mad Mufti strikes again?

  1. Lexcen

    January 11, 2007 at 7:38 pm

    I think you can gauge how outrageous Hilaly’s comments are by the extent of the outrage (if any) amongst the Muslim community. Clown he may be, but how representative he is of his community is another matter.

  2. ninglun

    January 11, 2007 at 8:06 pm

    Lexcen, there will be various reactions from Muslims and from non-Muslims, but I am afraid your reaction is, to me, very unhelpful. Do you actually know any Muslims? I do. The ones I know are not great admirers of the Sheikh. But there are those who do admire him, and you can get reactions from Muslims and others on Muslim Village Forums (Sydney), some of which I find objectionable, some not, and I further suspect that the majority of commenters there are kids or teens. I may be wrong about that.

    Look, I am not a Muslim. I have read the Qu’ran quite extensively and find it a very mixed bag indeed, but really not much worse than maybe 70% of the Bible. I live round the corner from a mosque in a somewhat Lebanese area and can assure you it is pretty damned quiet around here, and I don’t feel greatly threatened by my neighbours.

    He represents bigots, and in that respect I can think of quite a few Christian Hilalys.

    Let’s resist generalising too much. Read MyScribbles (Ahmad Shuja) and Ali Eteraz on my blog roll. They are perfectly reasonable Muslims. Opinions Of A 21st Century Kashmiri Nomad over there is a more conservative Muslim, and I quite often disagree with him, but he is certainly no terrorist and has made his views on that very plain.

    See also the following past posts:

    Foot-in-mouth Mufti…

    Foot-in-mouth Mufti revisited…

    I’ve had it with the Mufti, and with the tabloid press…

    Trying to be sane and not hysterical about Muslims…

    The importance of context revisited

  3. Lexcen

    January 12, 2007 at 7:25 am

    I can assure you my interest in Islam and Muslims is much more extensive than my comments might suggest. You may live in a quiet Muslim neighborhood, but are you unaware of the unrest that is caused by Muslims around the world? Do we ignore the intolerance of Muslim attitudes toward Danish cartoons, for example? You may dismiss this issue as a reaction by a minority of Muslims. You may dismiss my comments as “generalizations” but I don’t think they are. A close friend of mine has a daughter, 19 years of age. She has two close Muslim boyfriends. One is Shia and the other is Sunni. Both are Australian born. Both hate each other because they are of different sects of Islam. The boys behavior might be exemplary, but their attitudes towards western values are indeed worrisome. It’s not Muslims as individuals that I am concerned about, they can hold whatever opinions they want. On the other hand, the adherence to a religious/political belief system that can threaten the very foundations of a democracy is something about Islam that I don’t like. Anyone that equates Islam with Catholicism or Buddhism is extremely naive of the fundamentals of Islam.

  4. Lexcen

    January 12, 2007 at 7:49 am

    ninglun, I can see from your posts that you have been as active as anyone can be in trying to understand Islam. It may be that both of us are looking at the same issue and each of us is seeing what we want to see. In saying this, I wish I could come across to your views rather than holding the opinions that I do. Maybe we have read different books, looked at Islam from a different angle. Maybe both of us are right, or wrong. Of course, I can’t help fearing Islamists as a real threat.

  5. ninglun

    January 12, 2007 at 9:01 am

    Lexcen, I too fear Islamists — the terror-embracing, violent ones — just as much as you do. One point I would make is that we need to avoid giving credence to such extremists (including those we can tolerate because they are not violent) by making their view that Islam is under attack seem plausible. I am about to recycle an entry from my old Tripod blog on the English and ESL blog, one of a number I plan to recycle on this matter. That entry (and the others) were written as part of an endeavour I was involved in in the past few years working with Muslim students as SBHS, some of whom had come under the influence of Hizb ut-Tahrir. I had a little success. One of them, for example, transferred his idealism to Amnesty International, altogether better all round, don’t you think?


    See Cross-cultural issues are part of an ESL teacher’s business, the first of those recycled entries. I just read, too, foetid air and gritty on this, and he does have a point.

  6. Leslie

    January 25, 2007 at 1:48 pm

    I wonder if any of us realise how far the Muslim culture has spread into the aboriginal areas of our country. It has been more than a decade now that great lengths have been taken to imbibe the spirit of the muslim into aboriginal culture. Look at how many indigenous now wear the little hats.
    It is in these outback areas where the camps take place.

    We think of this as something new but back in 1990 I met up with a family of Turkish folk. Now these were in the second and third generation of being Australian but still hated Aussies with all their might. We need to go back a few generations to those sent here to start the process of taking over the country to get to the grassroots of the matter. Drug trade has been a great income for this operation and in this mission have brought into the pockets of many high profile peoples like police, politicians, judges, ombudsmen etc who are now too deeply entrenched to speak out. If David Hicks came back to Aus this would be undone surely, I am sure it is those who have benefited from the organisations financially and politically that are trying hard to keep David where he is.


    Much editing (but not censoring) done by site owner.

  7. ninglun

    January 25, 2007 at 2:12 pm

    That, I’m afraid, appears to be a conspiracy theory. It is true there is a Muslim movement among Aboriginal people. This is partly on the lines of the American experience with Black Muslims, and as such in part is a postcolonial phenomenon. THE MAN (Tony Mundine) here in Redfern is a notable example. It has to be said that the whole thing is no stranger, or any more or less part of Aboriginal culture, than Christian activity among Aboriginal people.

    I have known English families who moan endlessly about Australia, and I have known Turks who love the place. So?

    What Hicks has to do wth it, God knows. In fact the last paragraph of Leslie’s comment is very difficult to follow, or swallow, I’m afraid.

    Thanks for your thoughts though.

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