Monday, April 09, 2007

Australian senior Islamic cleric : 'get in trenches' with Iran

AUSTRALIA'S most senior Islamic cleric, Sheik Taj al-Din al-Hilali, called on the Muslim world to unite behind the radical Iranian regime and to serve in its "trenches" in comments published during a visit to Tehran last weekend.

As Iran was involved in a standoff with Western powers over the detention of 15 British naval personnel seized after they were accused of trespassing in its waters last month, the Iranian media were using Sheik Hilali's quotes in a propaganda drive.

The controversial Australian mufti was quoted as saying that the global Islamic nation would never "kneel" to its enemies.

In reports published in Iran on Saturday, Sheik Hilali was quoted as saying that Muslims needed to overcome their sectarian divisions that have led to much "bloodletting" in Iraq.

Leaders in Australia's Muslim community have attacked the Egyptian-born cleric over his reported comments and said he had no authority to speak on their behalf.

The comments will increase the pressure on the mufti, who caused a national furore last year when he compared scantily clad women with
uncovered meat.

Entire article here.

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