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  • Just wanted to share this..

    Friday October 27, 2006, this is taken from new zealand herald this morning, I found it interesting, so just wanted to share what is on this side of the world...

    Sheik Taj Aldin Alhilali said:
    Cleric says uncovered women like abandoned 'meat'

    SYDNEY - Women who do not cover up are similar to abandoned "meat" making them responsible for sexual attacks, a senior Islamic cleric has said.

    The Mufti of Australia and New Zealand, Sheik Taj Aldin Alhilali, has outraged female Muslim leaders with comments he made during a Ramadan sermon to 500 worshippers in Sydney last month.

    "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?" the sheik asked.

    "The uncovered meat is the problem. If she was in her room, in her home, in her hajib [Islamic headdress], no problem would have occurred."

    He also alluded to the Sydney rapes in 2000 where four women were separately gang-raped by a group of young Muslim men, including Bilal Skaf, who originally received a 55-year sentence, later reduced.

    He said there were women who "sway suggestively" and wore make-up and inappropriate clothes, "and then you get a judge without mercy and gives you 65 years".

    The sheik went on to say women were "weapons" used by "Satan" to control men and when it comes to adultery the responsibility falls on the woman 90 per cent of the time.

    His comments cause a storm of outrage in Australia and he said last night that he "unreservedly apologise to any woman who is offended by my comments".

    He said: "I had only intended to protect women's honour."

    He clarified his reference to the Sydney gang rapes and said Skaf was guilty and deserved such a sentence.

    Earlier, Young Muslim adviser Iktimal Hage-Ali, who does not wear a hijab, said it is not worn to prevent rape or harassment and it is up to "males to learn how to control themselves".

    Australia's most prominent female Muslim leader, Aziza Abdel-Halim, said she was "disgusted and offended" by the sheik's earlier statements. President of the Islamic Friendship Council of Australia, Keysar Trad, said the sheik's comments had been misrepresented, although he admitted his analogies could have been better.

    A former member of the Government's Muslim Advisory board, Iktimal Hage-Ali said she had listened to a recording of Sheik Alhilali's speech and believed he should be stripped of his position. "I was just flabbergasted," she told ABC radio.

    The mufti said he was shocked by the way his sermon was interpreted. "The Australian reported selected comments from a talk presented one month ago. The title was 'Why men were mentioned before women for the crime of theft and woman (sic) before men for the sin of fornication'.

    "I would like to unequivocally confirm that the presentation related to religious teachings on modesty and not to go to extremes in enticements. This does not condone rape. I condemn rape and reiterate that this is a capital crime.

    "Women in our Australian society have the freedom and right to dress as they choose [while] the duty of man is to avert his glance or walk away. If a man falls from grace and commits fornication then if this was consensual, they would be both guilty, but if it was forced, then the man has committed a capital crime. Whether a man endorses or not a particular form of dress, any form of harassment of women is unacceptable."

    A spokesman for the sheik said the backlash and criticism had badly affected him and he had been depressed and confined to bed all day, breathing with the assistance of an oxygen tank.

    IN THE EYE OF A STORM

    The comment

    "If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the 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? The uncovered meat is the problem. If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred."

    - Sheik Taj Aldin Alhilali, Australian mufti.

    The response

    "Covering or uncovering does not give the right for anyone to attack or violate the rights of those women."
    - Maha Abdo, manager of the United Muslim Women Association.

    "These unacceptable comments ... do not reflect the values of ethnic communities or of many mainstream Australian Muslims."
    - Phong Nguyen, chairman of the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria.

    "I have a message for Sheik Alhilali: This is Australia, not Iran, and violence and degradation of women is not acceptable."
    - Sophie Mirabella, Victorian Liberal MP.

    "His references ... was a very poor example that was meant to be a reference to both men and women. He wasn't talking about Islamic dress, he wasn't talking about rape."
    - Keysar Trad, president of the Islamic Friendship Council of Australia.

    "I am expecting a deluge of hate mail. I am expecting people to get abused in the street and at work."
    - Waleed Aly, Islamic Council of Victoria.

    "Young Muslim men who now rape women can cite this in court, can quote this man ... their leader in court."
    - Pru Goward, Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner.

    "Certainly I think if a religious leader in the Catholic Church or the Anglican Church or in Judaism was to make these sorts of statements, they would be getting a very severe rap over the knuckles, at the very least."
    - Tony Abbott, Health Minister.

    - AAP

  • #2
    "Meat"?

    What a horrible thing to say



    V

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by voltaire
      "Meat"?
      What a horrible thing to say V
      Really so who invented the word "Meat Market" to describe clubs and pick up joints (i.e Tiger Tiger )
      Nectar77

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Nectar77
        Really so who invented the word "Meat Market" to describe clubs and pick up joints (i.e Tiger Tiger )
        So hang on, it sounds like you're defending the guy's remarks, which are to the effect that women are "meat" to which men are attracted if they're not properly "covered", which he uses as an explanation for rape? And your reasoning is that the phrase "meat market" exists in the UK (and is not used as a justification for rape)??

        You simply cannot be serious. I've heard of unwilligness to acknowledge the obvious but that really takes the cake.



        V

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by voltaire
          So hang on, it sounds like you're defending the guy's remarks, which are to the effect that women are "meat" to which men are attracted if they're not properly "covered", which he uses as an explanation for rape? And your reasoning is that the phrase "meat market" exists in the UK (and is not used as a justification for rape)??

          You simply cannot be serious. I've heard of unwilligness to acknowledge the obvious but that really takes the cake.
          V
          God, you're a nightmare Mr. V
          No, am not defending anyone or anything!! I was merely referring to the term "Meat", you seemed to be shocked that he used such a word! yet IT IS an English word, is it not? it is used all the time to refer to "women", the fact that I didn't come down on it a bras raccourcis doesn’t mean that I agree with it.....lighten up V

          Am not going to defend anyone who describes women as Meat! Muslim cleric or else...
          Nonetheless....we all know/use the term "meat market" and we all know what it means!
          That's all am saying!!!
          Nectar77

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by nesian_wahine
            Friday October 27, 2006, this is taken from new zealand herald this morning, I found it interesting, so just wanted to share what is on this side of the world...

            Sheik Taj Aldin Alhilali said:
            Cleric says uncovered women like abandoned 'meat'

            SYDNEY - Women who do not cover up are similar to abandoned "meat" making them responsible for sexual attacks, a senior Islamic cleric has said.

            The Mufti of Australia and New Zealand, Sheik Taj Aldin Alhilali, has outraged female Muslim leaders with comments he made during a Ramadan sermon to 500 worshippers in Sydney last month.

            I think, what was said by Sheikh Taj Aldin Alhilali , represents his views and his interpretation of the veil (Niqab) in Islam, and does not, necessarily represents the majority of the Islamic scholar in this issue. Because the issue of veil (or Niqab), is a complicated one, and there is no agreement between the most known scholars in Islam.
            I think Sheikh Taj, has made a mistake by discussing an issue openly in front of the Australian media, and giving them the opportunity to attack back on Islam, by discussing a matter which is not fundamental in Islamic religion.
            The same problem is happening in UK, where the MP Jack Straw raised the issue of veil (Niqab), and now the media in UK is in high tension about this issue.
            At the end, I think, it is up to the Moslem woman, if she is convinced in her belief and heart that to wear a Niqab as a kind or part of her belief, it is her right to do so, and we do not interfere in people how they like to dress or eat, because it is one of the fundamental human rights. So, do not complicate life of Muslims.

            Hamam .

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Nectar77
              God, you're a nightmare Mr. V
              No, am not defending anyone or anything!! I was merely referring to the term "Meat", you seemed to be shocked that he used such a word! yet IT IS an English word, is it not? it is used all the time to refer to "women", the fact that I didn't come down on it a bras raccourcis doesn’t mean that I agree with it.....lighten up V

              Am not going to defend anyone who describes women as Meat! Muslim cleric or else...
              Nonetheless....we all know/use the term "meat market" and we all know what it means!
              That's all am saying!!!
              No, it isn't used to describe women specifically, and no, it isn't used "all the time". "Meat Market" is a deliberately disparaging term used to describe clubs/bars etc which are sleazy and where people (of both sexes) hang out looking to pick someone up.

              And even if that were not the case, the point is the context in which the term "meat" is being used here - ie to suggest that women bring rape upon themselves by not dressing "properly". Which is a simply disgusting thing to say, no matter who says it. As I daresay you'd agree.



              V

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by voltaire
                No, it isn't used to describe women specifically, and no, it isn't used "all the time". "Meat Market" is a deliberately disparaging term used to describe clubs/bars etc which are sleazy and where people (of both sexes) hang out looking to pick someone up.

                And even if that were not the case, the point is the context in which the term "meat" is being used here - ie to suggest that women bring rape upon themselves by not dressing "properly". Which is a simply disgusting thing to say, no matter who says it. As I dare say you'd agree.
                V
                I do agree obviously as per my previous post.

                However, on the subject of "Meat Market" I am aware (as per my last post..again) of the meaning of the term and that it is used for both sexes, but because the issue here is Women being described as meat and not men, I took the sense in that way....now dare I say...you capiche ?

                A lot of clerics and preachers hold talks and seminars, 90% of which WILL be discussing women's issues, preaching and teaching us to cover up and basically shrivel up and die (at least that way, we'd go to heaven ) , going back to the subject of rape, every single female rape victim will be accused at some point of "bringing it on herself" whether she's covered or not, it's just one of those unfair clichés that go hand in hand with rape accusations...sadly.
                Nectar77

                Comment


                • #9
                  SYDNEY'S Bankstown might be less than 30 minutes' drive from the Lakemba Mosque, but yesterday it seemed like 1000 years away.

                  The almost medieval attitude that hailed Taj al-Din al-Hilaly on Friday when he justified his attack on immodest women was put to the sword yesterday in Paul Keating Park.

                  At the celebration of the end of Ramadan, speaker after speaker condemned Sheik Hilaly for his comments on rape, comparing unveiled women to meat left out to be devoured by rapists.

                  "I am not fresh meat; he should not compare girls to meat," said one young Muslim woman. "It was totally unacceptable and I am embarrassed by him," said another. Yet another described him as "ignorant, unprofessional, unacceptable".

                  One senior Islamic woman, Elettra Mehia, a teacher who addressed the Sydney Eid festival in the crowded park, said Muslims did not need someone in a leadership position to incite hatred and violence.

                  "We need strong leadership to join our community together and solve issues, not to create issues, and certainly not to give an excuse for violent acts against women. It is just wrong," she said.

                  "No matter what colour or creed, it is just not right. I think the majority of Muslim women would feel this way, it would be unimaginable for them to support him. Being a woman, how could you support that view?"

                  She said that as an educator she taught children they needed to be responsible for their actions. "This is what a leader should be saying to his male followers, that they should be responsible for their actions."

                  Among the official events of the festival, organised by the Islamic Charity Project in conjunction with Muslim Youth for Truth, was the awarding of certificates from the High Islamic Council of Australia for those who had passed a series of Islamic instructions.

                  One of the organisers of the festival, Mohamad Abboud, said the event had been a happy one, with almost everyone opposed to Sheik Hilaly.

                  "He is not representing the Muslim religion in Australia, he is representing himself," he said. "We are completely against what he has said."

                  A librarian, Dalal Saad, said she thought the mufti's comments degrading and appalling. "I think he should step down from his position," she said. "The majority of Lebanese Muslim people don't agree with what he said."

                  Another Muslim woman said she did not think Sheik Hilaly was fit to lead a group of people on a pilgrimage to Mecca, as he will be doing next month.

                  Local federal member for Bankstown Michael Hatton, who addressed the crowd, described Sheik Hilaly's comments as inappropriate, tasteless and damaging to the way Muslims were seen in Australia. He said he had long hoped the sheik would moderate his views and embrace Australian democratic society, "to make a better place for Australians, a better place for his flock".

                  He called on the Lebanese Muslim Association, which controls the Lakemba Mosque, to put a stop to the attacks on Australian women emanating from there.

                  We're not fresh meat: Muslim women hit back

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    "He's part of a very minute group and they don't represent Muslims."

                    A senior Muslim leader is urging Sydney cleric Sheikh Taj el-Din Al Hilaly to keep quiet and not make any further comments to the media.

                    Muslim leaders have called for an emergency summit to take place tomorrow or Monday which could result in the sacking of Sheikh Al Hilaly.

                    Yesterday, Sheikh Al Hilaly said he would not quit his role until the world had been cleansed of the White House.

                    The comment has sparked further criticism of the sheikh, who has been strongly criticised for a sermon he gave comparing women to uncovered meat.

                    A spokesman for the Muslim community in Perth, Dr Ameer Ali, says the mufti should hold his tongue.

                    "I think in the interest of peace and harmony and cohesion it's better for the sheikh to keep away from the limelight for about two or three months and come back, let things subside and let the community think over it again and make a decision," he said.

                    "I think he should keep away from making any more comments and let the storm pass for a while.

                    "Let him recollect his thoughts and come back and reconsider whatever he wants to say.

                    "At the moment I think it's better for him to keep off the media."

                    The defiant mufti of Australia has been headlines news around the world since his sermon.

                    Critics have described Sheikh Al Hilaly's punishment - a three-month ban from speaking at the Lakemba mosque - as inadequate.

                    Keysar Trad, a supporter of Sheikh Al Hilaly, says it has been a difficult few days for his friend.

                    Mr Trad says he queried the sheikh about the comments regarding the White House.

                    "He said to me here we have the media in Australia stopping everything to pursue a frail old man who has apologised for any offence," he said.

                    "Yet there are some really serious issues in the world, there are serious issues involving world leaders which are being completely ignored."

                    The wife the former Guantanamo Bay detainee, Mamdouh Habib, says she was present when Sheik Al Hilaly gave the controversial sermon last month.

                    Maha Habib says there was nothing wrong with the sermon.

                    "I have heard the speech that he has said," she said.

                    "I have heard his words and I can understand and assure you the way I understood it that he wasn't talking to the Western people, he was lecturing us and telling us our duty towards being a Muslim and what is said in the Koran."

                    Some of the strongest condemnation has come from a number of women from the Islamic community.

                    More than 500 women took to the streets of Sydney last night for a march protesting violence against women.

                    Some taking part in the Reclaim the Streets rally were carrying signs with a picture of Sheikh Al Hilaly with the words, "Wanted for multiple crimes including approval of rape".

                    Eman Dandan, from the Sydney University Muslim Students Association, told the rally Muslim women already have to deal with hostility on the streets.

                    "We must protect all women in whatever choice they may make," she said.

                    "I stand here today [to support] women to wear the veil and I will aid a woman who has chosen not to wear the veil."

                    Sara Haghdoosti, who immigrated from Iran and is studying economics at university, also condemned the sheikh.

                    "They [the comments] were disappointing and I find them abhorrent," she said.

                    "He's part of a very minute group and they don't represent Muslims."

                    She says she was disappointed with his punishment and so were many of her male friends in the Islamic community.

                    "I spoke to a few young men and what they were telling me was they were disappointed," she said.

                    Muslim leader urges Al Hilaly to keep quiet

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      An open letter has been sent to senior Sydney Muslim cleric Sheikh Taj El-din Al Hilaly, asking him to step aside from his position as the leader of Australia's largest Muslim congregation.

                      Last night a meeting was held behind closed doors by the Lebanese Muslim Association (LMA), which runs the main mosque in Sydney's south-west.

                      Already Sheikh Al Hilaly has been asked not to preach for three months, after it was revealed he had compared some women to uncovered meat during a sermon.

                      Dr Jamal Rifi is a close friend of the Sheikh and founder of Muslim Doctors Against Violence.

                      Dr Rifi sent the letter and says he thinks the Sheikh will step aside.

                      "I have no doubt whatsoever," he said.

                      "He knows where I stand, he knows where he stands and he has no option whatsoever but to put the interests of the community and society."

                      Sheikh will step aside, Muslim colleague says

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Sheikh Hilali is not fit to be the mufti of Australia

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Islamic groups call for Hilali to resign

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Sheik Taj Aldin al Hilali chose the month of Ramzan to talk about meat. Unfortunately, he was referring to women in that demeaning fashion.

                            Said he, "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 cover, and the cats come to eat it ... whose fault is it, the cats' or the uncovered meat's?"

                            While the concentration is on the woman as meat analogy, we should also cast a glance at his assumption that, as a consequence, men are cats. The cat brain is vastly different from the human brain, which the Mufti does not seem to understand.

                            He went on to add, "If she (a woman) was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred."

                            Which world does he live in? Is there no rape in Muslim countries? Are women behind veils not molested? Don't rapes take place inside homes?

                            What is surprising is these comments were made at a public sermon outside a mosque. What were the Muslims doing at the time? Isn't Islam all about there being one god and one prophet and one holy book? Then, this human 'middleman' is not sacrosanct. Why did they not pull him up immediately or issue a statement distancing themselves from these disgusting views?

                            A month later The Australian, a local newspaper translated his comments, and now it has caused a furore. The problem with hindsight is that an emotive issue gets rationalised to the point that demerits too are rectified. Even the BBC, while interviewing him, described him thus: "A softly-spoken man, who clearly commands both enormous respect and affection within his community."

                            This is a nice way to pin the whole community, at least within Australia. Did the BBC's correspondent conduct a poll to ascertain his popularity? The media tends to assume that religious leaders, politicians, pop stars control people's attention merely due to the fact that they cater to or represent them symbolically.

                            To those who see this as one more Islamic problem, my answer is, NO. It is the problem of one guy living in Australia.

                            There are those who are reacting to it and justifying the Imam's statements by saying that even the Israeli President Moshe Katsav has been involved in scandals of rape, indecent assault and sexual harassment of women. The latter is clearly a criminal offence for which he will or ought to be tried in a court of law.

                            There have been several cases of such crimes as well as inappropriate behaviour, including by the former US President Bill Clinton. The law took its course, to whatever degree (some element of influence no doubt impeding the legal process).

                            However, bringing these examples into the present discussion does not help, because these are not religious leaders.

                            Should there be different standards for them? Most certainly. While politicians can be thrown out of power, what checks and balances are there against these 'people of god'?

                            How different is the Mufti's behaviour from, say, a situation in which a woman may be referred to as "a nice piece of ass"? Social interactions require an altogether different set of norms, based on the constructs of that particular culture, which may or may not look kindly upon such terminology.

                            But the Mufti's words negate what HE is supposed to stand for. His religion, Islam, does not give him the right to talk in this manner. It is as simple as that. If anything, he ought to feel ashamed of claiming Islam as his own and so should the Muslims. He has no business to hijack the religion for his paltry understanding of it and his few minutes of notoriety.

                            I do believe people should reasonably argue this issue without getting into religious politics. Irrespective of the fact that Australia has recently asked for a citizenship test that may target Muslims and start the whole debate about "integrating into the mainstream" – a superficial and smart way to bludgeon a community – it is a separate concern that needs to be tackled at the level of immigration policy and political prudence. Race riots have indeed affected many Muslims of Middle East origin and as Walid Ali of the Islamic Council of Victoria said, "I am expecting people to get abused in the street and get abused at work."

                            For now, however, the Australian Imam should be disowned by the community for his irresponsible remarks.

                            Why can't the Australian imam think beyond meat?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              ".....Sheikh Hilali's comments were "deeply repulsive" and it was "morally repugnant and disgraceful to blame the victim of a sexual assault for inciting the crime in any way...."

                              Muslims pan mufti's speech

                              Comment

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