And when is the world going to start using the term GENDER to denote the quality being male or femaile, rather than SEX.
PM slams Islamic leader’s rape comments
Thursday Oct 26 15:07 AEST
Prime Minister John Howard has condemned remarks by Australia’s most senior Islamic cleric likening immodestly dressed women to meat that attracted cats.
“They are appalling and reprehensible comments,” Mr Howard told reporters on a drought inspection tour of western NSW.
“They are quite out of touch with contemporary values in Australia.
“The idea that women are to blame for rapes is preposterous.
“I not only reject the comments, I condemn them unconditionally.”
Sheik Taj Aldin Alhilali’s comments, made in a Ramadan sermon, compared women who wore make-up and dressed immodestly to meat that attracted cats.
“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 reportedly said.
Mr Howard said the sheik’s remarks clearly related to a “particularly appalling” rape trial in Sydney.
Asked if the sheik should resign, Mr Howard replied: “It’s not for me to say what position he should hold in the Islamic faith.
“But it is for me as prime minister to say I totally reject the notion that the way in which women dress and deport themselves can in any way be used as a semblance of justification for rape.”
The Islamic Council of Victoria is calling on Australia’s most senior Muslim cleric to resign, saying comments that likened women to meat were an unfounded justification for rape.
Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV) committee member Sherene Hassan said she was outraged by the comments.
“Those comments are extremely offensive, and there is no basis for what he said in Islamic teachings,” Ms Hassan told AAP.
“They are a paternal distortion of Islamic teachings.
“The ICV is issuing a statement calling for his resignation.
“We are calling on him to issue an apology to all Australian people, because his comments are offensive to males and females alike, and we are calling on him to retract those comments.
“There is no justification for rape.”
Ms Hassan said she wears a hijab because of her “devotion to God”.
“It’s a form of identification. Men do not enter the equations. I don’t do it to hide from men.”
The Islamic Council of NSW has also condemned the sheik’s remarks.
The council said the remarks were “un-Islamic, un-Australian and unacceptable”.
A spokesman for the council, Mr Ali Roude, said he was “astonished” at Sheik Alhilali’s comments, saying he “had failed both himself and the Muslim community”.
“While we respect the rights of any Australian citizen to freedom of speech, there is a further responsibility upon our civic leaders, be they religious, political or bureaucratic, to offer appropriate guidance to the people under their care,” Mr Roude said.
“The comments widely reported today do no such thing.”
Sheik Alhilali had seriously misrepresented the teachings of Islam in his comments, Mr Roude said, which were offensive to both sexes.
The comments also showed a deep misunderstanding of rape and personal violence, which Mr Roude described as a “crimes of power”.
“As a father, brother and son myself, I take offence at the portrayal of both men and women in the alleged published comments,” Mr Roude said.
“Islam requires all people, men and women alike, to dress with modesty.
“This is not to reduce the risk of sexual assault and rape, but rather to show respect for the God who created us all as equals and to show respect for ourselves as people who rise above the world of mere things and animals to stand as conscious beings in the presence of that same loving God – Allah Ta’ala.”
Mr Roude said he had known Sheik Alhilali for many years and was deeply disappointed he had made the remarks, which were in no way shared or endorsed by the council.
“Any comments or actions which might lead any person, especially any Muslim, to despise or to objectify any other person are clearly contrary to the will of God,” Mr Roude said.
“The comments reported today must be heard, read and understood in that context.”