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Today’s post, once again: Sheikh Taj Aldin Al-Hilali

October 27, 2006
by

January 11, 2007 update can be found here 

In yesterdays post: What an eventful day I had 2 comments:

Irving Says:
October 27th, 2006 at 3:41 am e

Well put, dear Sister. Muslims will never progress in any country until their attitudes of women as a piece of meat are eradicated. It helps that such attitudes are condemned when spouted in public.

Ya Haqq!

and

Helen Says:
October 27th, 2006 at 9:30 am

While I disagree with what Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali said, I also believe that the Australian media pounced on his speech and turned what he said into a ridiculous sensationalist field day. Obviously, it’s good that his attitudes were condemned, but I feel as if the media here, by publicising these speeches, inflames anti-Muslim feeling in a very negative and unhelpful way. There were even phone polls on breakfast TV here today along the lines of: “Should the Mufti [as he is known as here] be deported?” But he’s an Australian citizen! It all just degenerates into “Them” and “Us” xenophobia. I suppose I feel especially sensitive towards it because I’m a migrant. If I voice my opinion, is somebody going to deport me?

Now, it’s not just Helen’s remark, but it was Irving’s remark as well that had thrown me into a state of total confusion, self-doubt and questioning.  Originally, I had read Helen’s remark and had a sense of guilt, for she does have a point, the media is sensationalizing it at a time that xenophobia is getting out of hand.  I went back to read Irvings comment for that motivation that one needs on occasions such as this.  Instead of this sense of doing something right, I had this sense of dred.  This sense of it all being pointless.  This sense of absolute fear and paranoia.

I was thrown back into 1984, back into former Yugoslavia, back into a place where even though his name was Ahmed, Ahmed was not a Muslim, but an atheist.  I was thrown back into that little world where most of us were Yasminas, Samahas, Ahmeds and Muhameds that adapted to the point of atheism.  Later on a monthly, weekly at times on a daily basis I would hear about those atheist Yasminas, Samahas, Ahmeds and Muhameds losing their lives, their limbs, their children. 

These were people that I knew.  Some of them poked fun that I wanted to go to Madrassa and with all of them I debated whether or not god existed.  In the end, what happened to them happened because they were Muslim.  I didn’t make them Muslim, god knows that they themselves didn’t consider themselves Muslim.  The Serbs said that they were Muslim and that is why they lost their lives and limbs and children.  We’ve seen this before, it was then called a holocaust.

I worry.  I do.  I get scared that this happened in a place that I NEVER would have thought it would happen.  I never thought that my friend Aleksandra (serbian name) hated me that much, and it really wasn’t that she did.  Propoganda played a huge role in how that war played out.

There is one thing that I go back to when I get this scared and that is that there are people out there that are humanists.  There are people out there that refuse to let fear take over their hearts.  My geography teacher was a Serbian man named Radika.  I had heard stories by so many people how he had sheltered Muslims and how he had helped Muslims escape from the hands of the chetniks.  He died helping them.  The Serbs killed him for it.  In every thought that I have for my “Muslim” friends that I have lost, I remember him as well.  It is the way that I can get beyond what happened.  It is the way that I can forgive.  I’ll never forget, but I have to forgive. 

I remember that and then I know that I’m not doing the wrong thing.  When something is wrong it is wrong.  I can not let something like the statements of this Imam go because of Xenophobia.  What he said was wrong, moreso it could actually encourage rape.

Now when I ask the question of when are Muslims going to adapt, I am in no way implying that Muslims should convert to the majority religion or accept injustices.   I am saying that Muslims need to learn the ways of their host countries and act accordingly.  Peaceful protest is much more pro-active than burning busses and buildings.  If you believe that women need to be covered up and not leave the house, then you do not belong in these countries where we are not all covered up and staying in the house.  

As to the polls being conducted in Australia about whether this man should be deported or not, I really do think it is a shame.  I’m not sure what Australia’s position is on freedom of speech and just what people hold rights to freedom of speech.

I’m also, as disgusted as I am with this sheik, as disgusted with the media for NOT comming to the defense of freedom of speech, for not reporting on these polls that are being taken calling for this man to be deported.  Yes, it has been sensationalized, I agree.

38 Comments leave one →
  1. October 27, 2006 6:55 pm

    Salaam Dear Sister:

    I would never call for the Imam to be deported either, no matter what he said. That is just an overzealous public reaction fomented by the whorish media. It is real people, not the media, that make a difference.

    Here is a story from Fremont, California about the horrible tragic death of an Afghan woman for wearing a hijab. It was a hate crime, but the non-Muslim women of the community have designated a day in her honor, and are all going to wear headscarfs that day. Her death, though sounding random and senseless, was not in vain.

    http://www.hahmed.com/blog/2006/10/26/headscarf-day-in-honor-of-murder-of-alia-ansari/

    Ya Haqq!

  2. October 27, 2006 7:10 pm

    Irving, thank you so much for this link. I will wear my scarf on November 13 while I drive the kids to school – that’s 4 hours a day in the car – and as I do my chores around the house, and of course blog.

    I’m also going to forward this through my e-mail list.

  3. October 27, 2006 11:03 pm

    You summed up my concerns in a nutshell when you said “propaganda”. Obviously, what the Sheikh said was wrong but I get seriously frightened by the way the media seizes on anything negative that might be connected to Islam and has a huge field day about it. Last year, there was a riot at Cronulla, a Sydney beach, which was inflamed by anti-Muslim sentiments in the media.

    I also get concerned by the way terrorism is reported here. On the one hand, people need to know. We need to be informed about what is happening in the world. On the other hand, I believe terrorism thrives on attention. The more people who hear about terrorist attacks, the more frightened they will be, and the goal of the terrorists is reached. Whenever there is a terrorist attack in the US, UK or Bali, we have non-stop coverage of it on TV (although, strangely, we barely hear about it if it happens in India or the Philippines). Sometimes I feel like shouting at the TV: “Stop giving these people so much attention. You’re being instruments of the terrorists by stirring up fear.” Sometimes I wish there would be a ban on reporting terrorist acts but, of course, that would mean atrocities could potentially go on in secret. I wish somebody could find a solution to this problem. As Irving says, the media is “whorish” but without it we would not be informed. Maybe the key here is to fight for a better, fairer, more truthful media? Countries should adopt anti-sensationalism laws.

  4. October 28, 2006 12:19 am

    Yikes – I never expected this sort of reaction when I posted. I think that while the media went overboard, they did do a good job in that they showed that Muslims are not a single monolithic group. It was the media which showed that Sydney Muslims are as divided about hard-line clerics as the Catholic Church is about the ultra-conservative Cardinal Pell. That doesn’t alter the fact that I don’t like the feeding frenzy the media goes into over something like this. Reporting events so as to assist the politics of fear.

  5. October 28, 2006 12:51 am

    The anti-Muslim hysteria propagated by the media is bad and so are the comments by irresponsible imams. I’m not sure if one is worse than the other. The kind of thoughts, feelings, and emotions stirred up by both endanger all of us.

    As for al-Hilali, he came to Australia on a tourist visa and remained in the country after it had expired. He and his supporters fought against the Australian government’s attempt to deport him and he was allowed to remain permanently. I would like to ask him why he fought so hard to remain in a country with so much “uncovered meat” rather than to his birthplace in Egypt.

  6. October 28, 2006 1:36 am

    I know Helen, it is scary.

    It’s okay Archie. Healthy discussion is fine by me!

    Muslim Apple – “I would like to ask him why he fought so hard to remain in a country with so much “uncovered meat” rather than to his birthplace in Egypt.” Exactly!!! And, I still can’t get into your site – It’s wierd.

  7. October 28, 2006 1:43 am

    Ahh, maybe the NSA wiretrap software is interferring? Since they can’t deport us (are you in the US?) they want to keep us from communicating. Strangely, I have no problem accessing your site or my site from your blogroll. Thanks for the link by the way. It’s too bad because there have been some colorful comments since you last posted.

    Maybe your ISP is blocking my site?

  8. October 28, 2006 1:52 am

    Yes, I’m in the US. It keeps saying Invalid Key and that’s all I get in the upper left corner of the page, kind of larger type and bolded.

    No problem with the link – from what I saw on your blog – I liked! I’ve seen some of the comments, if I look at my dashboard and comments, but I don’t see all of them and I can’t get in that way either – very frustrating – anyway – You go girl! Let em have it!

    I will try from one of the other computers in the house later and see if that makes a difference.

  9. October 28, 2006 3:08 am

    Perhaps you could try clearing your internet browser cache and history.

  10. October 28, 2006 2:12 pm

    😦 It didn’t work.

    This is going to make me crazy!

  11. sheryza permalink
    October 28, 2006 7:27 pm

    Subhanallah, like I said on Muslim Apple’s site men need to be responsible for their actions. A woman can’t be blamed for something she is not resposible for. Lower your gazes fellas. And you high and mighty religous humans that think all women are whores need to wake up and realize that there are decent human beings out there. I am so tired of women being made responsible for a mans sin. I’ve seen men that are so called religous just looking at every skirt that walks past yet an still their wives are covered from head to toe. I go to the masjid and see a woman practicaly hiding while her dear hubby is outside chatting a way with some sister(who’s not his wife). or he’s chatting with a co worker. Men especially muslim ones need to stop blaming women for the worlds troubles. and start looking at what your not doing in your deen and correct it. i know there is a lot of trials and tribulations out there and Allah ahs given us ways to over come them.

  12. October 29, 2006 1:21 pm

    Sheryza – Exactly!

    If (according to these men) men can not control themselves, why is there a need to control the women?

    I mean, wouldn’t god want us women to lock our men up in the house if it is that bad? Maybe that is the answer – chastity belts for the men and keeping them indoors as often as possible.

  13. sheryza permalink
    October 29, 2006 4:30 pm

    LOL YOU KNOW YOU MIGHT BE ON TO SOMETHING THERE. I AM JUST ROLLING OVER HERE…TOO FUNNY. NEVER THOUGHT OF THAT.

  14. October 30, 2006 7:11 pm

    LOL, thanks shryza. I just used this comment over at a chauvenist’s blog. I wonder what his reaction is🙂

  15. dezhen permalink
    October 30, 2006 9:59 pm

    Wow, nice to see a couple of Aussies making a place on the blogosphere.🙂 I am just wondering about the wider effects this incident will have on both the lebanese/arab side of the muslim community, and everyone else.

    I am of the opinion that we do not need an actual Mufti here in Australia – I am extremely critical – especially when none of the ‘Ulema’ from the various ethnic groups can communicate and work together anyway, and the said Mufti can only speak 1 language (Arabic), which closes his doors to the majority of Muslims here in Australia. They are trying to make a Majlis of ‘Ulema’, but there are intra-community political issues and so on afoot, which does not help anything.

    I was watching on the news here in Sydney last night some horrific reports about the status of global warming and other worldwide issues – our world is going down the drain fast – because of “first world” use of fossil fuels and other things, yet we Muslims have no response to it. Instead we would rather try to control “our” women and those who don’t even “belong” to us [note: no attacks please, i don’t believe this, but many do treat these kind of issues in this way lol], instead of speaking out against rape and other horrible things in general.

    Of course, the media wants to portray us as “other”, and not deal with the real fact that some things in Australia actually are bad, and for some people who are “Australian”, they do think bad things about women, or indeed, as the media shows, they actually do bad things to women. I see this as a way of deflecting these bad attitudes from “ourselves” and positioning them clearly on what is “other”; it avoids self-critique and introspection and keeps the status quo.

    At the end of it all I was left wondering why, from someone who is so knowledgeable, did such a dud-quote and reference come out in the first place. I just finished reading a translation of al-Ghazali’s “Breaking the Two Desires”, which talks about lust and other related issues clearly – yet there is no reference anything like the one the Mufti made anywhere to be found.

    The best of Muslims is one who says good or remains silent, indeed.:-/

  16. October 30, 2006 11:41 pm

    welcome dezhen! I’m not an Aussie, but it is so wonderful to see all of these Aussies on this post.

    You are right, gender discrimination is a problem in more than just the Islamic culture, it is a worldwide problem in which we choose to look for who is worse so that we don’t have to deal with our own issues. You are right on target with that!

    Statistics About Domestic Abuse

    DID YOU KNOW THAT:

    Approximately 95% of the victims of domestic violence are women.
    (Department of Justice figures)
    Every 9 seconds in the United States a woman is assaulted and beaten.

    4,000,000 women a year are assaulted by their partners.

    In the United States, a woman is more likely to be assaulted, injured, raped, or killed by a male partner than by any other type of assailant.

    Every day, 4 women are murdered by boyfriends or husbands.

    Prison terms for killing husbands are twice as long as for killing wives.

    93% of women who killed their mates had been battered by them. 67% killed them to protect themselves and their children at the moment of murder.

    25% of all crime is wife assault.

    70% of men who batter their partners either sexually or physically abuse their children.

    Domestic violence is the number one cause of emergency room visits by women.

    73% of the battered women seeking emergency medical services have already separated from the abuser.

    Women are most likely to be killed when attempting to leave the abuser. In fact, they’re at a 75% higher risk than those who stay.

    The number-one cause of women’s injuries is abuse at home. This abuse happens more often than car accidents, mugging, and rape combined.

    Up to 37% of all women experience battering. This is an estimated 566,000 women in Minnesota alone.

    Battering often occurs during pregnancy. One study found that 37% of pregnant women, across all class, race, and educational lines, were physically abused during pregnancy.

    Statistics About Domestic Abuse

    DID YOU KNOW THAT:

    Approximately 95% of the victims of domestic violence are women.
    (Department of Justice figures)
    Every 9 seconds in the United States a woman is assaulted and beaten.

    4,000,000 women a year are assaulted by their partners.

    In the United States, a woman is more likely to be assaulted, injured, raped, or killed by a male partner than by any other type of assailant.

    Every day, 4 women are murdered by boyfriends or husbands.

    Prison terms for killing husbands are twice as long as for killing wives.

    93% of women who killed their mates had been battered by them. 67% killed them to protect themselves and their children at the moment of murder.

    25% of all crime is wife assault.

    70% of men who batter their partners either sexually or physically abuse their children.

    Domestic violence is the number one cause of emergency room visits by women.

    73% of the battered women seeking emergency medical services have already separated from the abuser.

    Women are most likely to be killed when attempting to leave the abuser. In fact, they’re at a 75% higher risk than those who stay.

    The number-one cause of women’s injuries is abuse at home. This abuse happens more often than car accidents, mugging, and rape combined.

    Up to 37% of all women experience battering. This is an estimated 566,000 women in Minnesota alone.

    Battering often occurs during pregnancy. One study found that 37% of pregnant women, across all class, race, and educational lines, were physically abused during pregnancy.

  17. October 30, 2006 11:41 pm

    Sorry – source on stats:

    http://www.letswrap.com/dvinfo/stats.htm

  18. dezhen permalink
    October 31, 2006 5:31 am

    That is some shocking information Samaha!😦 I wish there was more being done to deal with it. We are stuck in the middle: “mainstream” (i.e. for us Western) society would rather blame the “Other” than admit that they have a problem regarding the status of women, and that the Muslim community itself also has its head in the sand, or culturally may tacitly accept attitudes which are not entirely promising.

    I feel it is our duty to be a kind of… conscience in this regard, but it is a bit hard to get “air time” when basically both sides would be against you lol.

    The internet, it seems, is a great vehicle for this though, otherwise I would not have found your blog (via eteraz)!

  19. October 31, 2006 3:52 pm

    Definately the internet is a great vehicle for voicing our concerns and in general I think it is a way of getting out some unconventional thoughts.

    Nice to know that you found me on eteraz – maybe all my comments have not been in vain. I was begining to think that maybe eteraz’s site is clickish and was going to just continue reading without commenting.

  20. dezhen permalink
    October 31, 2006 10:17 pm

    Oh, I think his site must have hundreds of “lurkers”, I know that I have been one for a while, but sometimes feel the urge to wade right in.🙂

    Keep up the good work – I for one enjoy your posts and comments.

  21. October 31, 2006 11:46 pm

    Thank you dezhen, I appreciate the encouragement.

  22. sheryza permalink
    November 3, 2006 3:25 am

    Goodness that is some shocking statistics. and this is the society in which we live. ya rabb!

  23. November 3, 2006 11:59 pm

    I know. Abusing women is something that happens in all cultures along all economic levels. It’s so sad.

  24. dezhen permalink
    November 7, 2006 10:22 am

    I would just like to point out that there was a discussion on Sh. Taj and this incident tonight on Insight, which should be available either on transcript or video clip on the ABC website soon.

    http://news.sbs.com.au/insight/index.php

    Please check it out as you will see some of the political and religious dynamics going on in our community right now.🙂

  25. November 7, 2006 12:58 pm

    Thank you for the link. There is no video clip available yet, but there was what appeared to be an incomplete transcript.

    I was able to see some of the different view points and what appeared to be the reporter trying to seize an opportunity of making one of the speakers slip up. That is how it appeared through the transcript.

    It was a prime example of what Helen was saying in regards to the media and sensationalizing the story.

    I hope that they post the whole video or the whole transcript at some point.

  26. dezhen permalink
    November 7, 2006 1:08 pm

    Insight is usually very good, compared to the other channels they at least give us a voice. It aired just a few hours ago, so I would imagine it would take a day or so to be uploaded.

    For some background: Kaysar is the unofficial interpreter/spokesman on behalf of the mufti, so there is some “history” there (he basically has mopped up all these mistakes over the years).

    There is some other interesting background to the lead up to this issue on a friends blog. It may help you guys get a better picture and make sense of the whole thing.

    I hope you can see the clip – I feel real proud of the young Muslim women who stood up to the various veiled and not-so-veiled (excuse the pun) remarks derogatory to Islam and their right to wear hijab. I just wish more could be heard, as they clearly articulate things in a much more relevant way than old men who can’t speak English!

  27. dawood permalink
    November 14, 2006 9:44 pm

    Just updating this thread – there is a streaming video of the show available here:

    http://www20.sbs.com.au/video/?channel=Insight

    If anyone watches it, I am interested in what you think. The Shaykh on the video link-up is one of the “extreme” guys in Australia, just for background. He has said many controversial things, and is probably worse than Sh. Taj in regards to the media frenzy he creates.

  28. November 14, 2006 11:11 pm

    Salam dawood,

    Thank you for the update.

    Would you mind taking a look at the comments on my Mustafa Ceric post, I think you may be able to assist on the matter.

  29. dawood permalink
    November 15, 2006 1:48 am

    Done already😉

  30. Phillip permalink
    January 13, 2007 2:06 pm

    Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali is both totally both right and wrong,

    I am an Australian, A real fair dinkum one, 4 parts convict, and my family have been here in Australia for over 200 years, so he is speaking directly to me. Hey Sheik,

    I want to say that yes, the convicts where deported from England,
    They mostly stole food and clothing, there was poverty everywhere, and they where cold, its cold in England apparently,

    Once they arrived, they mostly went hungry. not as good as we have it today. the cattle ran away and nothing grew

    growing up in Sydney as a street kid in Sydney, i saw many new arrivals. Some from the middle east, the vast majority fled there country to Australia, because of war, They did not come here on holiday,

    The best ones where from Lebanon, they taught me to say hello, and count, and help to feed me, when no Australian would, and they introduced me to islam way back, and the old school at Auburn, i also had childhood friends from Turkey, Syria, Vietnam, Cambodia, you name it, they all came because of war, not to go to the beach, but to save there lives by being in a safe country.

    War is a bad thing, Normally started by bad “uninformed” men,

    Kindest regards
    Phillip

  31. January 13, 2007 2:43 pm

    Thank you Phillip for a different perspective!

  32. dawood permalink
    January 22, 2007 11:26 am

    And Auburn still has that much diversity today… and the mosque pics I linked on my own blog a while back.🙂

  33. January 22, 2007 6:52 pm

    dawood, you should post the link to those pics on here.

  34. John permalink
    April 20, 2007 11:44 pm

    I believe Islam is a very flawed religion in this day and age, i mean what other religion worships a pedophile, more discussion should be
    had about the Koran which is no doubt the cause of the terrorism in the world today! John..

  35. Pekay permalink
    April 21, 2007 1:29 pm

    Izlarm iz a backward desert man domenant religion, made by man for man. Bloody hell why didn’t think of this first when i lived some 2,ooo years ago. Bugger that, I could have conned the world with Christianity and then Izlarm. Think of all the wars that i could have started enforcing my own religion. Man that is cool, i hope it aint to late to start a new religion. i will be the New Prophet claiming that i have been visited by the Angel Gabriel and that man has this one last chance of following the ONLY TRUTHFUL religion. Gee i would piss off them Izlarmists saying that there is no proof of this Mahumad and that it was the Caliph of Bagdad some two hundred years later made up the Koran, i was there cos i was a virgin concubine then of the Caliph when he hatched the plot to spread false truths about some dead dude who loved screwing nine year old brides. Anyway i will work on this scam, please send me money, a bloody lot of it so i can rip even more people off. Gimme Gimme Gimme.

Trackbacks

  1. My Dream - an Australian Institute of Islamic Studies [1] « Dezhen || Creative Morality
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