Australian Muslims are up in arms at comments made recently by Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali, the country’s most senior cleric.
The controversial sermon concerned the issue of rape and sexual violence against women:
“But the problem, but the problem all began with who?” asked the Mufti
The perpatrators who carried out the attack, surely?
Not the rapists:
“If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it … whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat?
Not the ‘cats’.
“The uncovered meat is the problem.”
Well, at least that’s clear.
The sheik then said: “If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred.”
Luckily elements in the Oz Muslim community have decided to stand up against this example of misogyny disguised as religion.
Here’s Islamic Council of Victoria spokesman Waleed Ali:
“Anyone who is foolish enough to believe that there is a relationship between rape or unwelcome sexual interference and the failure to wear a hijab, clearly has no understanding of the nature of sexual crime,” he said.
Iktimal Hage-Ali, who advised Australian Prime Minister John Howard on Muslim issues added:
“The onus should not be on the female to not attract attention, it should be on males to learn how to control themselves.”
Ms Hage-Ali said she was “disgusted and offended” by Shiek Hilali’s comments. “I find it very offensive that a man who considers himself as a mufti, a leader of Australia’s Muslims, can give comment that lacks intelligence and common sense.”
Good for them. It’s proof that the exhortations to circle the wagons aren’t working.
Via Tim Blair
The Sheikh has now apologised
“I unreservedly apologise to any woman who is offended by my comments…Women in our Australian society have the freedom and right to dress as they choose (while) 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 form of dress, any form of harassment of women is unacceptable.”
The Islamic Council of Victoria and the Islamic Council of New South Wales both condemned the sermon, Sherene Hassan of the ICV saying “Those comments are extremely offensive, and there is no basis for what he said in Islamic teachings”, and Ali Roude of the ICNSW saying the remarks were “un-Islamic, un-Australian and unacceptable”.
The ICV have also called for him to resign, which if his Wikipedia entry is anything to go by sounds like a good idea.
SBS has a translation of the sermon:
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.”
“But when it comes to this disaster, who started it? In his literature, writer al-Rafee says, if I came across a rape crime, I would discipline the man and order that the woman be jailed for life. Why would you do this, Rafee? He said because if she had not left the meat uncovered, the cat wouldn’t have snatched it.”