The planned rally in Sydney today at the Lakemba mosque as a show of support for the embattled Sheik Taj Aldin Alhilali did not proceed. It is being reported that his followers have heeded his request to call off the rally, and Tom Zreika, the president of the Lebanese Muslim Association (LMA) that administers the mosque, is quoted as saying he believed the furore over the Sheik’s recent comments (where he implied scantily dressed women deserved what they got if they were raped) was now “dead in the water”.
I suppose the fact that it is a cold, blustery, showery day in Sydney today didn’t have anything to do with it either? What are the odds that the rally would have gone ahead if the weather had been more kind? It’s also interesting how much people OTHER than the Sheik are back-pedalling on the Sheik’s behalf. One woman is reported as saying that the Sheik believes the act of rape is one of the worst capital crimes in Islam. That may be so, but why can’t he say it for himself? Then again, he has so badly damaged his own credibility that such comments from him would be viewed with extreme cynicism by the rest of the Australian community.
And the furore is “dead in the water”? I think not Mr Zreika. Sheik Alhilali clearly has offended all woman-kind with his comments, not merely non-Muslim women. His anachronistic attitudes and comments are not in keeping with the Aussie way of life, and the Sheik would best serve his religion by standing aside and letting a cleric of more modern thinking take his place.
Australia is NOT a strict Muslim nation Sheik Alhilali, and I believe you should be preaching acceptance of others and their beliefs, and perhaps giving consideration as to how your church can adapt itself to modern society rather than trying to drag everyone back to the days of the origin of the Islamic faith.