Tiny Minority of Extremists Alert from The Australian (thanks to JE): “Holocaust claims a Zionist lie: mufti”
THE nation’s Islamic leader, Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali, has dismissed the Holocaust as a “Zionist lie” in a series of fiery sermons in which he also lashed out at the West and the US-led occupation of Iraq. And Sheik Hilali — the Mufti of Australia and a member of John Howard’s Muslim Community Reference Group — also accuses the Government of being dishonest for claiming the anti-terrorism laws were not designed specifically for Muslims.
“These laws are tailored to target us precisely,” he said in a sermon recorded at Sydney’s Lakemba Mosque in November – one of a number of recordings The Weekend Australian has of Sheik Hilali’s religious addresses delivered in Arabic over the past eight months.
Revelations that the nation’s most senior Islamic cleric has been openly preaching extreme messages to his mainstream followers will be a major setback for the Howard Government.
Sheik Hilali is a senior member of the Prime Minister’s Muslim advisory board. Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs Andrew Robb will tomorrow unveil details of federal funding for national projects to help address problems within the Islamic community.
Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said the mufti’s intolerance of other religions was hypocritical. “It is not the time for anyone in positions of responsibility to make comments about other groups, particularly if you are someone who has been concerned about a lack of tolerance towards Muslims,” he said.
Indeed. But is his position on Howard’s Muslim advisory board in any danger?
In a February sermon, Sheik Hilali attacked the Western press for being afraid to admit that the Holocaust was “a ploy made by the Zionists”.
He also trivialised the number of Jews killed by the Nazis. “What’s that six million all about? Is there six million?”, said the Egyptian-born cleric, before calling on Muslims worldwide to boycott Danish goods over the publication of cartoons that offended Muslims for their depiction of the prophet Mohammed.