Friday, October 27, 2006

Hilal Cat Food

I've been listening to Philip Clark on 2GB this afternoon just a bit after 4PM. Clark interviewed the chair of the Lebanese Muslim Association (LMA) Tom Zrika. The LMA is the body that owns and has responsibility of Lakemba Mosque in Sydney, Australia. Lakemba Mosque is also the "home" mosque of Australia's Mufti, Sheik al-Hilali.

Sheik al-Hilali has in the last couple of days been subject to strong criticism from Australian leaders for a sermon he gave at Lakemba Mosque during Ramadan:

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."

Hopefully, Philip Clark will post the audio of his interview with Zrika. From his fairly probing interview, we can ascertain the following:

  1. The LMA has NOT contrary to media reports, given the Mufti several months off from preaching sermons. Instead, in the words of the LMA, he has been given a three month holiday;
  2. The LMA will not proceed with further action against the Mufti as a significant proportion of the board support him;
  3. Zrika admitted that the Mufti has a sizeable and vocal following ;
  4. THe LMA does not want to do anything concrete in response to the Mufti's sermon because it would tear the fabric of the community; and
  5. Sydney Radio show 2ME conducted an on-air survey in which a majority of Lebanese Muslims supported the Mufti's comments and in which the overwhelming majority of Lebanese Christians reject his assertions (no links - via Clark interview @ 2GB);

I agree with Matt Price for once:

In Australia and around the world, Muslim women are under increasing pressure to abandon their veils and hijabs and make a greater effort to assimilate with Western culture.

Sheik Hilali’s draconian religious address helps us understand why this is no easy task.

Remember, these are not the ravings of a radical Islamo-fascist - Hilali is one of the most senior Muslim clerics in Australia.

In other news, the Mufti no longer requires the assistance of an oxygen mask.

For the record, Philip Clark concluded that with 400,000 Muslims residing in Sydney, based on the small surveys conducted, at least 200,000 Muslims condone and support the Mufti's comments. Clark ended by saying this is a big problem.

Indeed.

UPDATE: Here is some audio of Tom Zrika (or Zreika), explaining why Mufti has been let off (about 1 minute into interview with News.com.au).

UPDATE: For the Arabic speakers amongst us, here is the Mufti's controversial sermon.

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Manny Is Here: Hilal Cat Food

Friday, October 27, 2006

Hilal Cat Food

I've been listening to Philip Clark on 2GB this afternoon just a bit after 4PM. Clark interviewed the chair of the Lebanese Muslim Association (LMA) Tom Zrika. The LMA is the body that owns and has responsibility of Lakemba Mosque in Sydney, Australia. Lakemba Mosque is also the "home" mosque of Australia's Mufti, Sheik al-Hilali.

Sheik al-Hilali has in the last couple of days been subject to strong criticism from Australian leaders for a sermon he gave at Lakemba Mosque during Ramadan:

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."

Hopefully, Philip Clark will post the audio of his interview with Zrika. From his fairly probing interview, we can ascertain the following:

  1. The LMA has NOT contrary to media reports, given the Mufti several months off from preaching sermons. Instead, in the words of the LMA, he has been given a three month holiday;
  2. The LMA will not proceed with further action against the Mufti as a significant proportion of the board support him;
  3. Zrika admitted that the Mufti has a sizeable and vocal following ;
  4. THe LMA does not want to do anything concrete in response to the Mufti's sermon because it would tear the fabric of the community; and
  5. Sydney Radio show 2ME conducted an on-air survey in which a majority of Lebanese Muslims supported the Mufti's comments and in which the overwhelming majority of Lebanese Christians reject his assertions (no links - via Clark interview @ 2GB);

I agree with Matt Price for once:

In Australia and around the world, Muslim women are under increasing pressure to abandon their veils and hijabs and make a greater effort to assimilate with Western culture.

Sheik Hilali’s draconian religious address helps us understand why this is no easy task.

Remember, these are not the ravings of a radical Islamo-fascist - Hilali is one of the most senior Muslim clerics in Australia.

In other news, the Mufti no longer requires the assistance of an oxygen mask.

For the record, Philip Clark concluded that with 400,000 Muslims residing in Sydney, based on the small surveys conducted, at least 200,000 Muslims condone and support the Mufti's comments. Clark ended by saying this is a big problem.

Indeed.

UPDATE: Here is some audio of Tom Zrika (or Zreika), explaining why Mufti has been let off (about 1 minute into interview with News.com.au).

UPDATE: For the Arabic speakers amongst us, here is the Mufti's controversial sermon.

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