Sheikh again demeans Australian women

From today's Sydney Morning Herald:

At least one Muslim leader has branded Sheik Taj el-Din al Hilaly "out of line" for his comments in blaming immodestly dressed women for sexual assault.

The former secretary of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, Shujat Mantoo, said the sheik was probably out of line, but he defended his right to stay in Australia.

"There would be many people like [the sheik] who uphold those views, and there would be among mainstream Christians, but we don't simply deport them. We educate them," Mr Mantoo said.

Sheik al Hilaly's comments were delivered in a Ramadan sermon to 500 worshippers in Sydney last month, a newspaper report said.

He blamed women who "sway suggestively" and who wore make-up and no hijab [Islamic scarf] for sexual attacks. …

From today's Sydney Morning Herald:

At least one Muslim leader has branded Sheik Taj el-Din al Hilaly "out of line" for his comments in blaming immodestly dressed women for sexual assault.

The former secretary of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, Shujat Mantoo, said the sheik was probably out of line, but he defended his right to stay in Australia.

"There would be many people like [the sheik] who uphold those views, and there would be among mainstream Christians, but we don't simply deport them. We educate them," Mr Mantoo said.

Sheik al Hilaly's comments were delivered in a Ramadan sermon to 500 worshippers in Sydney last month, a newspaper report said.

He blamed women who "sway suggestively" and who wore make-up and no hijab [Islamic scarf] for sexual attacks.

"If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it … whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat?" he said.

"The uncovered meat is the problem.

"If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred."

The cleric said that he meant to refer to only prostitutes as meat, and not any scantily clad woman without a hijab.

Mr Mantoo said the sheik was probably entrenched in the Egyptian culture he was brought up in.

"Prostitutes … enjoy the same rights as any other woman or man in this country and, if he has said that, he has to understand that there is equality before the law."

Mr Mantoo likened the cleric's views to those of some elderly judges, who were out of step with mainstream society's standards.

The sheik's comments have drawn strong criticism from some federal politicians and the federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner Pru Goward, who said he should be sacked and deported.

"It is incitement to a crime. Young Muslim men who now rape women can cite this in court, can quote this man … their leader in court," she told the Nine Network.

"It's time we stopped just saying he should apologise. It is time the Islamic community did more than say they were horrified. I think it is time he left."

NSW Premier Morris Iemma denounced the sheik for his "outrageous'' comments and called on the Muslim community to take action against him.

"He ought to be held account for his comments,'' Mr Iemma said. "What's in the papers this morning are offensive and outrageous and ought to be condemned and retracted. He does not have a flash record as far as these sorts of statements.''

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