SYDNEY’S Islamic community yesterday condemned one of its own leaders who claimed rape victims had no one to blame but themselves.
But as Muslims inundated Arabic-speaking radio stations to deplore Sheik Faiz Mohamad’s controversial comments, the Muslim leader apologised.
The apology came as the Sheik appeared to insist that rape victims were still “partly” accountable for what happened to them.
The 34-year-old former Australian boxing champion admitted he used an address at his Global Youth Islamic Centre in Liverpool to assert rape victims who dressed in skimpy clothing brought it on themselves..
The Sheik yesterday backed away from his comments, claiming he had been misunderstood and had made a mistake.
“I know I said something not thinking at that time. However, with all honesty from the depths of my heart, I never meant it like this,” he said.
“Maybe I should have said it another way meaning they are attracting to themselves and are partly to blame but not fully to blame.”
Arabic radio station 2ME morning host Anis Ghanem said he was inundated with calls yesterday from people outraged by the comments.
He said the station had received more than 100 calls, with just three defending the Sheik’s right to free speech.
A dozen Muslim organisations yesterday joined forces to deplore the comments, saying: “The responsibility for an evil act such as rape lies solely at the feet of the person who commits it. There is never an excuse for rape. Rape, being one of the most heinous of sins, can never be justified on the grounds of dress.”
The organisations include the al-Ghazzali Centre for Islamic Sciences and Human Development, the Australian Muslim Civil Rights Advocacy Network (AMCRAN), the Muslim Village Network, the Islamic Foundation of Australia (IFA) and the Muslim Women’s National Network of Australia (MWNNA).
Jamila Hussain of the MWNNA said the Sheik’s comments would “only really reflect a very small, very conservative minority of Muslims”…