The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC) gainsaid on Sunday, April 8, reports of giving Australia's Mufti Sheikh Taj el-Din al-Hilali the axe, reported The Australian.
"No, we haven't sacked the mufti... (Hilali) is still the mufti," AFIC President Ikebal Patel told Sky News.
He confirmed that the salary of the Egyptian-born scholar had been suspended for some time.
"The position of mufti itself is very much there and the ... incumbent, while not being paid for the position, is still the holder of the position."
Australian media earlier claimed that the AFIC had sacked Hilali, who has held the title since 1988, and abolished the position of mufti altogether.
Patel asserted that such a decision was up to the Australian National Imams Council.
"If the position should remain, we are quite happy to be guided by the National Council of Imams," he said.
After a day-long meeting on Sunday, March 25, in the Sydney suburb of Lakemba, the council decided to reinstate al-Hilali as mufti and form a 15-member executive council to consult more widely about who should be the next mufti.
Muslims, estimated at 300,000, make up 1.5 percent of Australia's population of 20 millions.
The AFIC president voiced confidence in Hilali, saying he is the best man for the job.
"He is definitely one of the most knowledgeable, most qualified in Australia," he said.
"I will probably be scoffed at when I say this, but he's probably one of the most moderate of the imams in Australia, but he certainly doesn't bring that out in his approaches with the media."
Yet, Patel said Hilali HHiwould require special assistance if he is to remain in office.
"…if he wants to remain mufti then there would have to be some very strict guidelines that would have to be placed," he said.
"He might need some resources in terms of having people who can speak English (to) articulate his thoughts clearly, so there's no excuse ever put forward that he was misrepresented."
Late last year, Hilali made international headlines for likening immodestly dressed women to "uncovered meat" that might invite rapists.
Cindy Taylor, a woman who had twice been raped, had defended Hilali, saying he had not intended to justify rape by his comparison.
"He's a wonderful man and his analogy certainly did not justify the act of rape," she said.
The non-Muslim Anglo-Saxon parents of the man married to Hilali's daughter also defended him after remarks on Australia's convict ancestors.
"We know what he means and we don't believe he deliberately meant to offend anyone," said Brian Tocock.
"We know that the mufti loves this country but we can understand how people can be offended by his comments," he added.
"He is a lovely man who has helped so many people in his community," agreed his wife Christine.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16