Australia's Islamic High Council slams Sheikh Hilali

A Sunni Muslim community group urged all Australians, both Muslims and non-Muslims, to condemn Sheikh Taj El-Din Hilali, the mufti of Sydney's biggest mosque, who sparked outrage over comments he made last week.

Australia's Islamic High Council slams Sheikh Hilali

In an interview on Egyptian television, Shaikh Hilali called white Australians "liars", and said that Muslim Australians had more right to the country than white Australians whose ancestors arrived as convicts.

The remarks sparked outrage in Australia, prompting some ministers to call for Sheikh Hilali's expulsion from the country.

In a separate interview aired on Australian television last Saturday, the Egyptian-born cleric also criticized Prime Minister John Howard, calling him "Mr. Me Too" because "he waits for any news from America to say 'me too'".

Howard, who said that Australians should laugh off Sheikh Hilali's "convicts" remarks, responded to the latest criticism by saying that it was up to the Muslim community to deal with the issue, warning that it risked embarrassment if the controversial cleric wasn't reined in.

Darulfatwa, or the Islamic High Council of Australia, distanced itself from Sheikh Hilali, and said that it received several calls from non-Muslim Australians angered by the cleric's comments, as well as a number of complaints from Muslims who said they had been the target of discrimination.

"The Hilali has again been a divisive figure in the community causing tensions between Muslim and non-Muslim Australians," Darulfatwa said in a statement.

"Hilali is not a revered figure nor is he an Islamic representative to Australia's Muslims,

"Australian Muslims must take every opportunity to denounce the Hilali as their leader, including those at the Lebanese Muslim Association, while non-Muslims can support their fellow Muslim friends by not recognizing or labeling Hilali as a mufti to Australia's Muslim community," the statement added.

Sheikh Hilali is on holiday in Egypt in what was supposed to be a self-imposed exile following a speech he delivered last year in which he compared scantily dressed women to "uncovered meat" – comments that angered many Australian politicians and divided the country's 300,000-strong Muslim community.

Sheikh Hilali later apologized for his comments, which he said had been misinterpreted and taken out of context.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16