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The Australian Mufti Soap Opera

The Australian Mufti Soap Opera

By Andrew L. Jaffee, netwmd.com

Internal Muslim politics in Australia are playing out like a soap opera — one where radicalism and corruption are major themes. The current “mufti” presiding over Australia’s national imams council got himself in hot water last year: “Sheikh Taj el-Din al-Hilali said women who did not wear a hijab (head dress) were like ‘uncovered meat’.” A name being floated to replace Hilali is Mohammed Swaiti, who is currently under investigation by the tax office for taking Saudi money under the table, and reportedly “praised mujaheddin (holy warriors) in Iraq and Afghanistan.” Can you say “credibility problem?” From The Australian:

THE national imams council will next month strip the position of Australian mufti from Taj Din al-Hilali, who yesterday made a desperate attempt to shore up grassroots support within his community by returning to the pulpit. …

He was banned in November from preaching by the Lebanese Muslim Association following revelations in The Australian that he compared scantily clad women to uncovered meat and joked about the notorious Sydney gang rapes in a Ramadan sermon. …

The Weekend Australian understands Sheik Hilali, 66, was lobbying imams around the country to keep him in his position next month, amid accusations he would break up the council should it not re-elect him. [playing hard ball, huh?]

Meanwhile, Dr Abdulla backed council member Mohammed Swaiti, saying the Australian Tax Office’s investigation into the hardline cleric would not harm the image of the imams board.

The tax office is investigating allegations that Sheik Swaiti failed to declare clerical allowances of up to $US30,000 ($36,000) a year, allegedly paid to him by the Saudi Government’s Dawah (donations) Office.It was also alleged that Sheik Swaiti had been on the Saudi payroll for the past 12 years and had failed to declare payments he received from officiating at wedding ceremonies.

Canberra’s Muslim community yesterday called on the imams board to revoke Sheik Swaiti’s membership.

The Weekend Australia last month revealed that Sheik Swaiti, an ethnic Palestinian, praised mujaheddin (holy warriors) in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Islamic Society of ACT vice-president Mohammed Berjaoui said he feared that Sheik Swaiti’s radical views would influence others on the imams board. …

Australian Muslim leader: It’s OK to kill kids in battle

Australian Muslim leader: It’s OK to kill kids in battle

Sheikh Shady Suleiman is just repeating classic rules of Islamic law. Attacks against women and children are prohibited “unless they are fighting against the Muslims” (‘Umdat al-Salik o9.10, cf. al-Mawardi, al-Akham as-Sultaniyyah, 4.2).

“It’s OK to kill kids in battle: Sheik,” by Richard Kerbaj in The Australian, with thanks to all who sent this in:

THE deputy spiritual leader of Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali has told his students that it is “obligatory” for all Muslims to engage in jihad if an Islamic country is under attack, even if it means killing the enemy’s children.Sheik Shady Suleiman, a youth leader at Lakemba Mosque in Sydney’s southeast, told his students in a one-hour Arabic and English lecture that it would be “self defence” to kill children who were attacking them in battle.

Muslim leaders yesterday attacked the 29-year-old cleric, who has a substantial following in Sydney, and accused him of delivering a message contrary to that of Prophet Mohammed who said children should not be killed in war. Prominent Sydney-based imam Khalil Shami said Sheik Shady’s message was “dangerous” because it was open to being misconstrued by young Muslims.

“It is very dangerous,” he said. “Because … he puts in their minds that they have to do this, and he prepares them for something wrong for sure.” The nation’s leading spiritual Muslim woman Aziza Abdel-Halim said Sheik Shady’s message diverged from Islamic teachings that prohibit the killing of children.

In a lecture titled Rulings on Performing Jihad, obtained by The Australian, Sheik Shady differentiates between defensive and offensive jihad and quotes the Prophet by saying anyone who fights to defend their land, soul, and wealth was considered a “Shahid” (martyr). “If attackers or invaders want to invade a Muslim country or attack a Muslim country then it’s obligatory on every Muslim … to fight and protect the country,” he says.

Sheik Shady says while the Prophet condemned the killing of children, “if they are involved then you have to stop them”.

“If you have a child carrying a knife and coming to you, or a sword and coming to kill you in the middle of the battle, they (the fighters) are going to look at him and say ‘the Prophet said not to touch him’ – no, that’s wrong.”

Sheik Shady, who is lecturing in Britain, yesterday defended his message on jihad, saying it was a part of a series of lectures delivered in 2002, before the Iraq war – and focused on the collection of the traditions of Mohammed – although a copy of the lecture appears on his website dated May 2004.

He said the lecture was delivered to 60 young men who were advanced in Islamic studies and would not take it out of context and was “not an open lecture”, despite being on his website.

“When I said children, I did not mean, of course, if you’re going to get a five- or seven-year-old coming to attack you, you can stop him,” he said yesterday.

“I was talking about self-defence. If you get attacked by someone, then you have the right to defend yourself. It doesn’t mean you go kill them, especially if it’s someone young.”

Sheik Shady said that while it was obligatory for all Muslims to defend an Islamic nation under attack, there were no Muslim countries living under Sharia law that were currently under attack.

The Meat Head Mufti

The Meat Head Mufti
By Alyssa A. Lappen
FrontPageMagazine.com | March 14, 2007

Far from bowing to rising clamor for his deportation, the controversial Mufti Sheikh Taj Aldin al-Hilali is taking on the political establishment. Al-Hilali outraged Australians last fall by describing women as “uncovered meat,” and in January compounded their furor when he claimed that Muslims had more right to the country than the “Anglo-Saxon” heirs to Australia’s convict ancestors. On March 12, al-Hilali spokesman Keysar Trad brazenly baited politicians to stop using Muslims as a “political football.”

In October 2006, after al-Hilali’s misogynist sermon at west Sydney’s Lakemba mosque, Prime Minister John Howard criticized him and other politicians demanded his dismissal and deportation. Egyptian-born al-Halali has been in that position before, however: after spewing anti-Jewish hatred at the University of Sydney in 1988, deportation proceedings began. But under Muslim pressure, in 1990, Australia granted him citizenship.

Al-Hilali certainly follows recent radical custom. In Iraq, Islamic radicals have slain at least 20 women for living (and dressing) as liberated women. In 2005, a Spanish judge sentenced Mohamed Kamal Mustafa to 15 months in prison for writing, “blows [to a disobedient wife] should be concentrated on the hands and feet using a rod that is thin and light so that it does not leave scars or bruises on the body.” And in March 2003, Saudi Arabian religious police trapped 890 girls and women in a burning school rather than let them out in “improper dress.” At least 15 girls died.

In Status of Women in Islam the “greatest” current-day Islamic scholar, Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yusuf Qaradawi derides any woman with “free rein to assert herself, promote her personality, enjoy her life and her femininity… mix with men freely, experience them closely where they would be together and alone, travel with them, go to cinemas or dance till midnight together.”

Actually, the “women are meat” motif is apparently Islamic tradition. Second Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab (634-644) stated, “innamaa al-nisaa’ laHm `alaa waDam illaa maa dhubba `anhu” (Women are only meat on the butcher’s block, except for any parts that have dried up), according to a 1937 reference by Islamic scholar Georges Vajda to a medieval Arabic text. [1]

Likewise, from Cairo in January, al-Hilali laid claim to Islamic historical and cultural supremacy, prompting Australian leaders to urge al-Hilali not to come back. He stated on Cairo Today TV that Muslims with “deep roots in Australian soil [from] before the English arrived” had more right to Australia than Anglo-Saxons, who “arrived in chains.” (It wasn’t the first time, either: in 2004, he said that Afghan Muslims, not Capt. James Cook, discovered Australia.) Now, Al-Hilali also blames “racism” for the conviction and harsh sentencing of a Muslim gang rapist. His critics, he added, were racists, too.

Some Muslims rebuked him: Darulfatwa (Australia’s Islamic High Council) called al-Hilali an ill-respected, “divisive figure” and asked the Lebanese Muslim Association (LMA) running the Lakemba mosque to fire him. The Forum on Australia’s Islamic Relations (FAIR) also sought “sending [al-Hilali] out to an early pasture.”

But Melbourne Sheik Fehmi Naji warned leaders against bullying Muslims; and spokesman (and Islamic Friendship Association president) Keysar Trad dismissed al-Hilali’s latest outrage gaucherie as “a slip of the tongue.”

Meanwhile, the British Undercover Mosque documentary broadcast west Sydney Global Islamic Youth Centre imam Sheik Feiz Mohammed despising infidels as filthy, dirty, disbelieving “kaffirs,” and ridiculing Jews as “pigs.” They’d found him, in the Islamic DVD “Death Series,” urging young Muslims to be holy warriors, and their parents to “Put in their soft, tender hearts the zeal of jihad and a love of martyrdom.”

To top it off, 450 Muslims packed a January Hizb ut Tahrir Khilafa conference in Sydney’s southwest Lakemba area, where Indonesian radical Ismail Yusanto urged “all the sons and daughters of Islam” worldwide to impose “the divine order of Islam,” take “responsibility for effecting political change in the Muslim world to manifest universal brotherhood”–and wage jihad for the establishment and defence of a universal Muslim state headed by one religious leader.

Clearly, Al-Hilali (and cohorts) subscribe to the belief succinctly expressed by Osama bin Laden–“The earth belongs to Allah and thus only Allah’s rule should prevail all over the earth.” They hold Muslims (believers) to be superior to others–and believe Islam should rule the world. As Sheik Ibrahim Mudeiris opined on Palestinian TV on May 13, 2005, “We ruled the entire world before, and by Allah, the day will come when we will rule the entire world again.”

Like it or not, Al-Hilali and friends simply follow Islamic scriptural doctrine, which establishes the “divine,” i.e. unchallengeable notion (Qur’an, 3:110) that Muslims are “best community that hath been raised up for mankind…,” that most Christians and Jews “are evil-livers” and that all land belongs to Allah, [2] like a mosque (masjid), which can never revert to private ownership.[3]

After migrating to Lebanon, in 1982 during its civil war, al-Hilali traveled down under on a tourist visa; he later refused to depart. In September 1988, reports a web archive of Australia’s Counter Intelligence-Counter Espionage-Counter Terrorism, he recited traditional lessons from Cairo’s al-Azhar University, the world’s leading Islamic institution, to Muslim students in Sydney:

The Jews struggle with humanity is as old as history itself; the present continuing struggle with the Islam[ic] nation is a natural continuation of the Jews enmity towards the human race as a whole.

Judaism controls the world by secret movements as the destructive doctrines and groups, such as communism, libertinism, Free Masons, Baha’ism, the Rotary clubs, the nationalistic and racist doctrines.

He continued, Jews attempt “to control the world through sex, then sexual perversion, then the promotion of espionage, treason and economic hoarding.”

Al-Hilali subsequently pretended to be chastened: On November 15, 2001, at a September 11 memorial with Buddhist, Christian and Jewish leaders, he opposed terrorism, killing and wars. And in November 2003, he coyly labeled Australia “our compassionate mother,” criticized criminals among Sydney’s Muslims and admonished them to “love this country or leave it; shape up or ship out.”

But at a Sidon, Lebanon mosque in 2004, al-Halali said “September 11 is God’s work against oppressors,” praised the hijacker “pilot who reached his objective without error..,” lauded the global “war on infidels” and heralded the “true buy” who, “despite his mother’s objections,” welcomes the jihad imposed on him to be martyred.

Fast forward: Last November, the same AFIC that named al-Hilali mufti in 1989 to thwart his deportation, formed the National Imams Council following his Meat Head gaffe, ostensibly to independently decide his fate. Who is AFIC president Ikebal Patel kidding? In February, rumors of al-Hilaly’s pending dismissal proved false with LMA president Tom Zreika’s announcement that the board would let him stay at Lakemba mosque until the contrived AFIC-NIC meeting in early April.

With the al-Hilali camp’s latest political announcement, Australia’s radical Muslims have also announced their strategy to again leverage multiculturalism and Western guilt for their advantage. This time, they’re fighting Christians along with the politicians: Christian Democratic Party leader, Rev. Fred Nile, called Monday for a 10-year moratorium on Muslim immigration to Australia, in favor of Christians fleeing Islamic persecution–which not incidentally goes largely uncovered, in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Pakistan.

But failing a massive Christian campaign on the issue, Muslim pressure again looks ascendant in Australia, and al-Hilali highly unlikely to be sent packing for good. After all, the country’s parliamentary multicultural affairs minister recently assured the public that a government-sponsored Islamic center will produce moderate imams.

NOTES:

[1] Georges Vajda, “Juifs et Musulmans Selon Le Hadit” [“Jews and Muslims According to the Hadith”] Journal Asiatique 1937, Vol. 229, pp. 57-127, included in (upcoming) Andrew Bostom, The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism: from Sacred Texts to Solemm History (2007, Prometheus).

[2] Qur’an 16:41: “And those who became fugitives for the cause of Allah after they had been oppressed, We verily shall give them goodly lodging in the world, and surely the reward of the Hereafter is greater, if they but knew;”

Quran, 57:2: “To Him belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth: It is He Who gives Life and Death; and He has Power over all things.;”

Qur’an 59:7: “That which Allah giveth as spoil unto His messenger from the people of the townships, it is for Allah and His messenger and for the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer, that it become not a commodity between the rich among you. And whatsoever the messenger giveth you, take it. And whatsoever he forbiddeth, abstain (from it). And keep your duty to Allah. Lo! Allah is stern in reprisal.”

Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 53, Number 392: Narrated Abu Huraira: “[The Prophet said to the Jews], “If you embrace Islam, you will be safe. You should know that the earth belongs to Allah and His Apostle, and I want to expel you from this land. So, if anyone amongst you owns some property, he is permitted to sell it, otherwise you should know that the Earth belongs to Allah and His Apostle.”

Abu’l Hasan al-Mawardi, (d. 1058), “Chapter 12: “The division of fay [property taken from infidels without battle] and the Ghaneemah [property taken by force],” and Chapter 13: “The Imposition of the Jizyah [head tax on unbelievers] and the Kharaj [land tax on unbelievers],” and “Chapter 14: The different statuses of the regions,” al-Ahkam as-Sultaniyyah (The Laws of Islamic Governance), 1996 Ta-Ha edition, pp. 207-251. In any case, all confiscated property is “taken from the nonbelievers as a way of exacting revenge.” (p. 207) According to al-Mawardi, second Caliph Umar ibn al- Khattab stated that he had “discovered what is good in that which Allah has given me authority over by means of three thing: fulfilling a trust [to Islam], taking by means of force, and ruling by what Allah has revealed; surely I have only found the good in this wealth by three things: that it is taken justly, that it is distributed justly [to Muslims and to benefit Islam], and that it is prevented from being spent on unjustified things….” (p. 251);

Ralph W. Brauer, “Boundaries and Frontiers in Medieval Muslim Geography,” (1995), American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, in Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 85, Part 6, pp.65- 69;

Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal anti-Discrimination List, Witness statement of John Mark Durie, 3 Oct, 2003;

Abul Ala Maududi, (founder of terrorist group Jamaat-e-Islami), “The Islamic Concept of Life;

“The Truth,”(“The present ‘system’ whereby all are forced to be ‘subscribers’ and all are forced to pay whatever is demanded is to now cease as man is awakened from their ‘sleep of ignorance’ and are enlightened by their Allah. There will be no more land taxes as all land belongs to Allah not man.”) http://www.dar-es-salaam.org/web/hell.htm, p.22.

[3] Thomas P. Hughes, “Masjid,” Dictionary of Islam, 1895, 1994 reprint, Kazi, pp.329-332: “The Muslim law regarding the erection and endowment (waqf) of Masjids, as contained in Sunni and Shi’ah works, is as follows: According to the Sunnis: ‘…as soon as [a property-owner] separates [the masjid] from his property and allows even a single person to say his prayers in it, his right to the property as a mosque ceases…. delivery of it is made to the Qazi or his deputy….. Abu Yusuf was of the opinion that the property in a Masjid never reverts to the original appropriator….” [taken by Hughes from the Hidayah, vol. ii, p. 356] The Shi’ah law regarding the endowment of the Masjids, or land for the benefit of Masjids, does not differ in any important particulars…..” (pp. 331-333)

Limit Muslim intake, urges visiting scholar

Limit Muslim intake, urges visiting scholar

Raphael Israeli, a professor in Islamic Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said Australia was in danger of being swamped by Muslims – especially from Indonesia – and called for a “preventative policy” to protect national security and ensure Muslims remained a “marginal minority”.

Professor Israeli, whose visit is in part sponsored by the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, has just begun a six-week stint as a scholar-in-residence at the Shalom Institute in Sydney, where he is teaching a course on “Understanding Islam”.

An author of 20 books on the Muslim, Arab and Chinese worlds, he will also give talks in Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and New Zealand.

In an interview with the AJN, Professor Israeli said radical Islam would not be defeated by a war of words.

“You have to infiltrate all those circles where the Muslim radicals operate, to arrest them, and to limit immigration into western countries where these Muslims, who are bent on destroying western civilisation … to limit immigration, even students who apply to come from Islamic countries to the West,” he said.

“It serves no purpose when you have this home-grown terrorist, who has been preparing for years to blow up undergrounds in London, and all you do is lead a war of words. The war of words doesn’t help. There is a whole gamut of actions that are possible in order to check this threat of Islam.”

Citing France, where Muslims comprise about nine per cent of the population, as an example, Professor Israeli warned growing Muslim communities could change the political, economic, and cultural fabric of a country.

“You have to adopt some kind of preventative policy. In order not to get there, limit the immigration and therefore you keep them a marginal minority, which will be a nuisance, but cannot pose a threat to the demographic and security aspects of a country.”

But Islamic Council of Victoria director Waleed Aly branded the comments  “ill-advised and foolish” and said Professor Israeli didn’t understand  Australia.

“It is clearly possible in the current environment to say things about Muslims that you simply cannot say about anyone else,” Aly said.

“The fundamental problem at the heart of this is that he seems to be suggesting that increased marginalisation of Muslim populations will somehow produce something other than mutual resentment. It should be obvious to anyone really that it’s doomed to failure.”

Officially, there are fewer than 300,000 Muslims in Australia according to the 2001 Census, but Islamic community officials estimate the actual number to be at least 500,000 – about 2.5 per cent of the population.

“Even though it’s so low, they are so vocal, and they make so much noise,” Professor Israeli said. “And therefore the situation has to be checked before they increase their numbers, because don’t forget in your immediate proximity dwells the largest or most populous Islamic country in the world [Indonesia], and by necessity, there is demographic pressure from there to channel the surplus of populations to wherever it’s possible.

“And one of the big possibilities is Australia, so they will continue to come legally, or illegally, and settle here, and when they get to the rate of the 10 per cent like in France, then you will see life will become untenable.”
He said France might already be at the “point of no return”.

“Then they control whole sections of the economy, there are areas in France where you cannot be elected to Parliament without the support of the Muslims and so on. And therefore, by increasing their numbers they start to have an impact on the social, economic, political and cultural nature of the country.”

He warned that radical Muslims would find it easier to “melt” into the community and plan terrorist acts without scrutiny from authorities if the growth of Australia’s Muslim population was allowed to continue.

“You will have then large concentrations of Muslims, so it’s not thousands, it will be millions, and when they become millions it’s a big mass where individual Muslims, including terrorists, can melt, and then go look for them.

“In England they already have that problem, they cannot locate them, they cannot sort them out from the general population, and sometimes you have to impose a curfew on a whole area to catch one or two or three terrorists, and by doing that you do an injustice to an entire population, and then they start complaining that they are discriminated against.”

Immigrant Muslims had a reputation for manipulating the values of their adopted countries to suit their own ends, he said.

“And that’s why Islam has become feared in western countries, which are open, democratic, and tolerant of others. And Muslim populations, which are very often minorities, very often abuse that hospitality and use democracy, openness and tolerance to their benefit, to spread their faith and to intimidate their hosts, and very often, to impose their standards and values upon them.”

Australian Muslim speaker: revolution or civil war may be necessary in order to create an Islamic state

Australian Muslim speaker: revolution or civil war may be necessary in order to create an Islamic state

“What is at stake is not just the destiny of the Muslim world but indeed the whole of mankind.” Indeed.

“Sydney conference speaker demands Islamic state,” from Australia’s ABC News, with thanks to JE:

A speaker at a conference in Sydney’s south-west says a revolution or a civil war may be necessary in order to create an Islamic state, or caliphate.The meeting has been organised by the controversial Muslim group Hizb ut-Tahrir, which is banned in several countries overseas….

One of today’s speakers, Ashraf Doureihi, told the audience action needs to be taken to ensure an Islamic state is created.

“It is important… [to move] collectively in the Muslim world to demand this change from such influential people in our lands, even if it means spilling onto the streets to create a revolution or staging a military coup,” he said.

Hizb ut-Tahrir spokesman Wasim Durie has told the audience a number of speakers will address the meeting today and discuss ways of establishing an Islamic super-state.

“As we were here today, what is at stake is not just the destiny of the Muslim world but indeed the whole of mankind,” he said.

Al-Hilali: “We consider ourselves as servants to Allah firstly, and servants to Australian society secondly”

Al-Hilali: “We consider ourselves as servants to Allah firstly, and servants to Australian society secondly”

…which the Sydney Morning Herald reports as an expression of loyalty to Australia. “Sheik calls for ‘ethical’ trial,” by David Braithwaite and Jacqueline Maley in the Sydney Morning Herald, with thanks to David:

Sheik Taj el-Din al Hilaly would quit and place masking tape over his mouth for six months if an impartial panel found him guilty of inciting rape.

While the masking tape might be a nice idea, of course he wasn’t inciting rape. He was just saying that rape are the fault of the women who are raped.

In a statement released before he spoke today at Sydney’s Lakemba Mosque, the sheik insists he was misreported as saying in a September sermon that scantily dressed women were like “uncovered meat” who invited sexual assault.

Of course. When has a jihadist ever, ever, been accurately reported when he made statements that jarred Western sensibilities?

“Any person, whatever his position may be, who justifies the crime of rape or encourages it under any circumstances, or whoever degrades Australian women for their dress, is nothing but an ignorant, foolish and crazy person who does not deserve to hold any position of responsibility, be it public or private, in our Australian society,” the statement says.

Translation: “I am now under pressure, and am telling the Australian media what they want to hear.”

Am I being ungenerous? This is a man who has praised Iraqi jihadists and 9/11. How anxious do you think he really is to assimilate into Australian society?

The sheik offered to be judged by an ethical tribunal made up of a judge and two lawyers, aided by two translators, to rule on the contents of the September 22 sermon.If the panel found him guilty of inciting rape, he would:

- “Retire from all religious work and positions.”

- “Place a masking tape on my mouth in public places for six months to discipline this mouth for uttering these words.”

- “Commit myself to public service duties (600 hours in any women’s organisation which provides social services to Australian women).”

If acquitted, the sheik would make a decision about his future which “will serve democracy” and enhance “coexistence and harmony between the Muslim community and its Australian society away from extremism and racial fanaticism”.

The sheik did not state he would step down from his current leadership role, but he asked the Australian Federal Imams Board to open nominations for the position and call an election.

“The issue of the mufti of Australia is an Islamic issue and therefore an internal matter. It must be for the Muslim community to deal with,” he said.

“Therefore, I ask the secretary of the Australian Federal Imams’ Board to open the doors for nomination for any imam wishing to nominate himself for this position.

The Sheik delivered a speech to a crowd of more than 2000 worshippers who filled the mosque and spilled onto its outside steps this afternoon.

He called on his followers to support Australia: “We consider ourselves as servants to Allah firstly, and servants to Australian society secondly.”

Yemen the new centre for training jihadists

Yemen the new centre for training jihadists

  Tim Dick and Nick McKenzie
October 31, 2006

 

GROUPS of young Australian men are going to Yemen for jihadi training, say law enforcement sources who are concerned the country has replaced Central Asia as a destination for extremists.Australian security agencies recently identified a small group of men from NSW who travelled to Yemen for religious and military training. It is believed the men were of Arabic background. It is not known if this group has any connection to the Australians arrested in Yemen.One of the men was stopped from going after he was approached by authorities and warned that he would risk breaking terrorism laws if he flew to Yemen. A law enforcement source said Yemen was attracting radical local Islamists for religious and military training because of the counter-terrorist crackdowns in nations such as Afghanistan and Pakistan.“Yemen is the new wild west,” the source said. Authorities in Australia have been monitoring individuals who travel for extended periods to countries with radical Islamic training camps, although the ability to move easily over borders makes such detection difficult.One of Yemen’s most notable exports – along with oil, fish and Osama bin Laden’s father – are the extremist teachings of Islamic fundamentalists, such as the alleged al-Qaeda financier Sheik Abdul-Majid al-Zindani.The US Government declared the red-bearded firebrand a “specially designated global terrorist” in 2004 for his financial and spiritual support of bin Laden.The conservative American magazine National Review dubbed him the “Yemeni Sheik of Hate”.Zindani founded the controversial al-Iman University, one several religious colleges in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, which are often accused of promulgating anti-Western hatred.He reportedly claimed in one taped sermon that the attacks of September 11, 2001, were a conspiracy between the US President, George Bush, and Jews.Zindani leads the Islamist wing of an opposition party, Islah, and has helped the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas raise funds, but he is reported to be close to the relatively pro-Western Yemeni President, Ali Abdullah Saleh.Among the university’s former students is John Walker Lindh, who is serving 20 years in a US jail for fighting with the Taliban.Zindani and his students have been linked to the bombing of USS Cole in Aden in 2000 and the murders of three American missionaries in 2002.The university was briefly closed by authorities after September 11, 2001, in a crackdown on fundamentalist teachings.Before its suspension, it had about 6000 students, 800 of whom were foreigners. Many were expelled after the attacks on the US, but it – and others in Yemen – still attract students.Zindani’s Friday sermons are taped and are on sale by the evening of the same day. 

Men ‘provoked’ into sex assaults: imam

Men ‘provoked’ into sex assaults: imam

Support for al-Hilali from the senior Muslim cleric in Australia, defending Sharia provisions about women not venturing out alone. “Men ‘provoked’ into sex assaults: imam,” by Amanda O’Brien for The Australian, with thanks to Western Resistance, where there is a great deal of illuminating background:

THE most senior Muslim cleric in Western Australia has called on women not to leave their homes unaccompanied and insists sexual assaults happen only because “the man is provoked”.The comments, which follow those of Taj Din al-Hilali comparing women to uncovered meat, were condemned by Premier AlanCarpenter as “totally unacceptable”.

Imam Abdul Jalil Ahmad yesterday said women would be safer if they dressed appropriately and did not go out alone.

The imam rejected the idea that women were to blame for rapes, as suggested by Sheik Hilali last week, but urged women to protect themselves as he said assaults happened when men were provoked.

“Crime is always the fault of the criminal, but sometimes we have to take also preventative measures, like you would secure your home,” he said.

“Especially when they are alone, there’s a problem. That’s why the ideal is to have company with them all the time.

“They should try to take precautions, to wear (clothes) decently, not necessarily to cover from top to toe.

“In democratic countries they are free to dress as they like but you see the assault only happens because the man is provoked sexually or something like that.”

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