Hilali: who cares?
Muslim spokesmen in Australia, having tried to explain away the Mufti’s inflammatory jihadist statements every which way, are now trying a different tack: nobody really cares about this crazy old man anyway. From The Age, with thanks to Nicolei:
Few Australian Muslims saw Sydney’s Sheikh Taj al-Din al-Hilali as a leader, Islamic Council of Victoria president Yasser Soliman told a tribunal yesterday.
The sheikh was not Chief Mufti of Australia or spiritual leader of the nation’s Muslims but honorary mufti, and even that would be “dealt with in time”, Mr Soliman said.
(The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, which meets in Sydney next month, has indicated it will consider his position. Last month Sheikh Hilali reportedly called for jihad against Israel during a sermon in Lebanon and said September 11 was “God’s work against oppressors”. Later he met the leader of Hezbollah, banned in Australia as a terrorist group.)
“He’s been built into something greater than he is,” Mr Soliman told the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal hearing the state’s first religious hatred case.
He said Sheikh Hilali had little influence outside Sydney’s Lakemba mosque, and even there he was opposed.