The Herald Sun makes a number of important points about the remarks of Australia’s Grand Mufti and Australia’s law against religious vilification, which radical Muslims are putting to good use in a trial of two Christian preachers. (Thanks to Mark Durie and Kevin.)
THE transcript of what our Grand Mufti really said in a mosque last month doesn’t just prove he’s an extremist who urges even children to die in a jihad.
It also proves that he and his chief spokesman cannot be trusted to tell us the truth about what he’s up to.
And, by the way, it proves how wrong the Bracks Government was to pass laws against free speech, which are being used now against two Christian pastors who tried to warn us that Islam permits people like the Mufti, Sheik Taj El-Din El-Hilali, to lie for his cause.
Last month I reported how Hilali, our most senior Islamic cleric, had been heard on a visit to Lebanon again calling for jihad, again endorsing suicide bombers and again praising the Hezbollah terrorist group.
But Hilali and his spokesman, Keysar Trad of the Lebanese Muslim Association, claimed he’d been the victim of yet another misunderstanding.
Trad said the Sheik’s remarks had been “taken out of context”, and his sermon in a Lebanese mosque did not endorse jihad, killings or suicide bombings at all.
“It was not a call to arms,” Trad said. “He’s not saying ‘go ahead and do this’.”
Trad also sent me e-mails claiming he had proof that the “Mufty (sic) did not say the comments attributed to him”, and that I should “brave a correction”.
Meanwhile, the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, which in 1988 made Hilali the Mufti to help him avoid being expelled for his extremism, said he “did not hold such radical views”, being “a very moderate Islamic leader”.
And Hilali himself told SBS radio he hadn’t supported jihad, or tried to incite hatred of the West.
SO people who’d prefer to think our Mufti is a man of peace and truth will be shocked to read the transcript of his sermon at the Sidon Mosque on February 13, in an official translation arranged by our Embassy in Lebanon.
Hilali began by telling “this blessed gathering at this mosque, the mosque of jihad and manhood” that his topic was the “true meaning of manhood”.
“Brothers of Islam, there is a war of infidels taking place that requires real men and strong positions that prove our manhood towards God,” he thundered.
“How many Palestinian women are being imprisoned by Zionists in Israel? How many women were raped in Bosnia, Herzogovina and Chechnya? Where are the real men?”
Where? The real men were in Hezbollah, he said, and real men were now needed to “answer the call of Jerusalem” — and “those who care for their living more than they do for he who gives life are not real men”.
“Children and mothers are crying: Sons of Islam, there is a war of infidels taking place everywhere.
“The true man is the boy who opposes Israeli tanks with strength and faith. The boy who, despite his mother’s objections, goes out to war to become a martyr like his elder brother. The boy who tells his mother . . .’Oh, mother, jihad has been imposed on me and I want to become a martyr’.”
(Remember: “martyr” is widely held to be someone who dies fighting for Islam, and not least those who die in suicide attacks.)
WHAT’S more, Hilali said, “perhaps we will find one day an Islamic revolution, and Islamic ideology in Western countries. Don’t be surprised if one day you hear the muezzin calling for prayer and saying, ‘Allah is great’ from the top of the White House.”
Referring to the al-Qaida attack on the United States that killed some 3000 civilians, Hilali declared: “September 11 is God’s work against oppressors.
“Some of the things that happen in the world cannot be explained. A civilian airplane whose secrets cannot be explained — if we ask its pilot who reached his objective without error, who led your steps? If we ask the giant that fell, who humiliated you? Or if we ask the President, who made you cry? God is the answer.”
Islam was advancing everywhere, Hilali said.
“I’m telling you that there are no English Korans left in Australia or America or Europe. Everyone is converting to Islam — soldiers, pilots, engineers . . . Those who are spending money to stop the ways of God will spend their money but will be defeated eventually.”
This is what the Mufti preaches in Arabic, just as he was once filmed in his Lakemba mosque calling suicide bombers “heroes”.
And this is the man and there is his spokesman who told us, in English, that, no, the Mufti hadn’t praised jihad, hadn’t endorsed suicide bombers, hadn’t called for blood and martyrs.
Hilali’s tirade demands answers to questions I’ve repeatedly asked here, despite threats and abuse.
Why do no moderate Islamic leaders openly reject Hilali and his preaching?
Why did our Federation of Islamic Communities make this man our Mufti, so betraying moderate Muslims? Why did the Hawke and Keating governments not only fail to deport Hilali, despite his extremism, but make him a citizen?
Can we hope to assimilate his fellow worshippers, if he is their leader and this their ideology? And how worried should we be that Hilali is being challenged for the leadership of his Lakemba mosque by two preachers even more extreme than he?
But Hilali’s record of denying to us what he’s just said in Arabic now raises a further question about the Bracks Government, which passed a notorious vilification law under which we can be jailed for saying something hurtful about someone’s race or religion.
Right now, two pastors are defending themselves in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal against just such a complaint from the Islamic Council of Victoria — the council which voted to make Hilali the Mufti.
The allegation is that the preachers, Pastor Danny Nalliah and Pastor Daniel Scot of the Catch the Fire ministry, mocked and vilified Islam during a church seminar on jihad.
I again mention this trial — which has run for months — because one of the many complaints is that the pastors warned that Islam not only preached jihad, but permitted believers to lie about what they were doing.
In fact, the sacred sayings of the Prophet can be interpreted as condoning just that. The Sahih Muslim collection of sayings, for instance, says the ban on lying can be relaxed when a believer is “in battle”.
IN another collection, Mohammed famously tells a follower who offers to kill a Jewish enemy that he may say “a false thing” to get the job done.
Some Muslims, I’m sure, would not interpret their holy texts in this way.
But others have and do.
Yet to discuss this — and suggest this may be why a mufti might not tell us the truth about his teachings — puts us at risk of a trial for vilification, thanks to the Bracks Government.
What a lethal swamp we’ve been led into by our multicultural zealots. We have now Islamic clerics preaching hate and death, while some of their followers struggle to assimilate.
And in Victoria we have laws which threaten jail for even pastors who sound a warning. Is this just or sane?