An indication that, unfortunately, Sheikh al-Hilali’s views are not all that uncommon. “Briton backs imam in ‘uncovered meat’ row,” by Bernard Lagan in the TimesOnline, :
ONE of Britain’s most senior Muslims has defended as “a great scholar” the Australian imam who likened scantily clad women to uncovered meat that draws predators.
Abduljalil Sajid, a senior figure in the Muslim Council of Britain, offered support for Sheikh Taj Din al-Hilali’s views, saying that “loose women like prostitutes” encouraged men to be immoral. Dr Sajid, visiting Australia, said that Sheikh al-Hilali was attacking immodesty and loose dress, or “standing in the streets, inviting men to do these bad acts”.
Although the Australian cleric did not use the word prostitute, but appeared to be attacking women wearing revealing clothes, Dr Sajid said that the sermon had been taken out of context. Referring to the thrust of the Sheikh’s argument, he said: “So what is wrong in it? Who will object to that?” Dr Sajid, who is on a speaking tour, met the controversial Sheikh at his Sydney mosque yesterday.
Sheikh al-Hilali bowed yesterday to pressure and agreed not to preach for three months. But he defied those pressing for him to quit as the leading Muslim cleric in Australia.
After meeting him yesterday, Dr Sajid said: “As far as I am concerned he is a great scholar and he has a great knowledge of Islamic jurisprudence.” Dr Sajid added that he believed that the inflammatory excerpts from a speech, given last month, had been quoted out of context. “I respect his views. His intentions are noble in order to make morality and modesty part of our overall society,” the British cleric said.