Sunday, June 10, 2007


I find it hard to believe my eyes.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald report:

"Outspoken Muslim leader Sheik Taj el-Din al Hilaly has stood down as Australia's Mufti.

The controversial Islamic cleric was reappointed mufti at a meeting of Muslim leaders in Melbourne today, but declined to accept the position.

Sheik al Hilaly was a surprising and controversial first choice for the Muslim leaders, who have come under intense pressure over the past year to sack the Mufti.

In a statement issued today, the council said Sheik al Hilaly had "gracefully declined'' to accept another term.

They wanted to re-appoint the man who has done as much as anyone to damage relations between Muslims and non-Muslims!

I'm almost speechless.

I hope immediate past president of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, Rehin Ghauri, is correct when he said:

"Most Australian Muslims would applaud his departure. The ordinary Muslims don't like to see him as mufti.''

It wouldn't be the first time that religious leaders have shown that they're out of touch with their followers. I really do hope there's some follow-up with a survey of 'ordinary Muslims' so that their feelings can be aired.

The Sydney Morning Herald report is here.

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