In case you have missed it, there has been considerable ruction here in Australia over a sermon by Australia’s chief Muslim cleric, Sheik Hilali.

Sheikh al-Hilali, who is the Mufti of Australia, delivered his remarks to hundreds of Muslims in his mosque. He likened immodestly dressed women to meat that attracted predators and suggested that they were to blame for being set upon by men. If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street . . . and the cats come and eat it, whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat? The uncovered meat is the problem, he said.

It is worth noting in passing that the Sheik has been passed off as a moderate Muslim when it is known that he has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood in his native Egypt and has expressed his admiration for jihad in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan as well as to the intellectual foundations of modern Islamic radicalism according to this report in The Australian:

In an interview on Arabic radio two weeks ago, the imam based at Sydney’s Lakemba mosque said he was opposed to terror attacks in Madrid, London and New York but strongly endorsed fighters in the Palestinian territories, Iraq and Afghanistan.

In the interview, Sheik Hilali pays tribute to Sayyid Qutb, the ideologue of the Muslim Brotherhood and intellectual mentor of Osama bin Laden and al-Qa’ida.

“Jihad of the liberator of Palestine, that’s the greatest and cleanest and highest … jihad which lifts our heads in pride in south Lebanon,” Sheik Hilali says in the October 17 interview.

He tells broadcaster Abrahim Zoabi that he endorses jihad for liberation. “We are talking about … jihad of liberating our land, jihad of Muslim Afghanis in their land – that’s jihad.

“Jihad of Iraqi Muslims is jihad, but not when Sunnis and Shias are killing each other – that’s not jihad.”

He is a radical pure and simple openly supporting those who are fighting against Australian forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. The less obvious, but ultimately more telling giveaway, is the reference to Sayyid Qutb who is one of the founding intellectuals of radical Islam. It is like someone constantly putting forward the racial and religious theories of Nazi philosopher Alfred Rosenberg claiming they are a moderate. Or more obviously, constantly quoting Lenin and denying they are a Communist. Qutb was radicalized by his experience in America in the late forties. Here is his reaction to American women taken from his Wikipedia article linked above.

the American girl is well acquainted with her body’s seductive capacity. She knows it lies in the face, and in expressive eyes, and thirsty lips. She knows seductiveness lies in the round breasts, the full buttocks, and in the shapely thighs, sleek legs — and she shows all this and does not hide it. [7]

What is important to understand here is that radical Islam is a distinct entity about which it is possible to understand and recognize key philosophic and religious ideas – such as no separation of church and state and the totalitarian a imposition of Islamic law. Given his background it is almost certain that Sheik Hilali would impose Sharia on Western women given the opportunity. Moderate Muslims actually exist, but we see and hear little about them. Our media seems clueless when they accept false claims that prominent Muslim clerics like Hilali are moderate, when a bit of study of their words and intellectual roots reveal just the opposite. Furthermore our media ignore genuinely moderate Islamic clerics even when they suffer imprisonment and torture for their beliefs. For example, the recent imprisonment of Iranian Ayatollah Boroujerdi. He belongs to a Shia Islamic school that preaches what we think of as separation of church and state in direct opposition to the more familiar Khomenist school that sees church and state as one.

Sheik Hilali’s remarks on women also reveal a lot about the history of multiculturalism in Australia. In the 80s and 90s Australia was headed down the same road as Europe on multiculturalism. But the multiculturalists moved too far too fast and there was a strong backlash. To be fair the left was strongly motivated by the desire to erase the stain of racism caused by the earlier White Australia Policy. The backlash coalesced around Pauline Hanson and her One Nation party in 1997 which became, for a short time, a significant factor in Australian politics. She spoke forthrightly against immigration and was demonized as a simple minded racist but because of the issues she raised and the support she received the long suppressed debate on multiculturalism came out in the open. It was clear that many Australian just didn’t accept the idea that some degree of assimilation was necessary to maintain national unity. The Liberals, the more conservative of our two parties, managed to successfully co-opt the One Nation vote with more moderately stated policies, but the high tide of multiculturalism had been reached in Australia in the late nineties and it was no longer possible to silence any questioning of multiculturalism by crying ‘racist’. Likewise, the One Nation revolt has allowed the Labor party to take a more balanced position on the issues raised by intolerant remarks like those of Hilali. Kim Beasley the Labor leader was able to say simply of Hilali – “He has to go.”

Multiculturalism is far from dead in Australia, nor for the record do I think it is all bad. Insofar as it encourages respect for other cultures and promotes understanding and reduces friction then I think it is a good thing. But when it creates cultural ghettos that persist over generations and effectively deny equality of opportunity for the children of immigrants then it is simply a failed policy. When it insists on ignoring cultures which are highly intolerant – such as radical Islamic culture – it is worse than a failed policy – it is cultural suicide.

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