Unsacked Uncovered Meat Sheikh once again reveals his true colors. “Mufti urges Muslims to back Iran,” by Richard Kerbaj in The Australian, with thanks to all who sent this in:
AUSTRALIA’S most senior Islamic cleric, Sheik Taj al-Din al-Hilali, called on the Muslim world to unite behind the radical Iranian regime and to serve in its “trenches” in comments published during a visit to Tehran last weekend.
As Iran was involved in a standoff with Western powers over the detention of 15 British naval personnel seized after they were accused of trespassing in its waters last month, the Iranian media were using Sheik Hilali’s quotes in a propaganda drive.
The controversial Australian mufti was quoted as saying that the global Islamic nation would never “kneel” to its enemies.
In reports published in Iran on Saturday, Sheik Hilali was quoted as saying that Muslims needed to overcome their sectarian divisions that have led to much “bloodletting” in Iraq.
Leaders in Australia’s Muslim community have attacked the Egyptian-born cleric over his reported comments and said he had no authority to speak on their behalf.
The comments will increase the pressure on the mufti, who caused a national furore last year when he compared scantily clad women with uncovered meat.
He is under police investigation over allegations he passed money raised by members of the Muslim community in Australia to supporters of al-Qaeda and Hezbollah’s terrorist arm during a visit to Lebanon last year.
The Australian revealed last week the Sydney-based Lebanese Muslim Association had raised $70,000 in conjunction with other Islamic bodies following the Israel-Hezbollah war in Lebanon. The money was earmarked for war victims.
The weekend reports of Sheik Hilali praising Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s hardline Islamic regime follow his outburst on Egyptian television in January when he described Westerners as “the biggest liars”.
“Anglo-Saxons came to Australia in chains, while we (Muslims) paid our way and come in freedom. We are more Australian than them,” he told Egyptian television.
In Tehran, the mufti was billed as a celebrity by the Islamic Republic’s newsagency.
“The mufti of Australia has called on the Islamic world to stand in the trenches with the Islamic Republic of Iran which possesses the might and power,” Iran’s al-Alam News reported on its website in Arabic on Saturday.