Monday, October 30, 2006

Islam Online: "Aussie Muslims to Abolish Mufti Post"

Further developments in L'affaire Hilali:
The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC), which appoints the Mufti of Australia, will vote to abolish the position at the elections of its new executive board in February, while the incumbent mufti hinted he could step down over the controversy sparked by his recent women remarks.

"I don't believe Australia needs a mufti," AFIC spokesman Haset Sali told The Australian newspaper.

Sali said he would work with other AFIC executives to ensure that the position of mufti was struck off the council's constitution.

"If I have anything to do with it, I think it will be (abolished) because I don't think there is a person in Australia at the present time who could fulfil that position in a positive and constructive manner.

"And I just don't think that there is someone who would be not only an eminent scholar but also capable of communicating in a constructive and positive way with the English-speaking community in Australia."

Mufti of Australia Sheikh Taj Aldin al-Hilali has found himself in the midst of a firestorm after he had likened immodestly dressed women to "uncovered meat" that might invite rapists.

Sali said Hilali's ignorance of Australian values and lack of English language skills were to blame for the unguarded comments he had made.

"That's the difficulty he's faced all along. This is not something that just popped up last week, it's just been an ongoing problem."

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