For example, when it comes to theft the sheik said that,
On the issue of stealing, when the man is responsible for earning ... Maybe circumstances forced him and Satan tempted him, and there is a woman like hell behind him; she never has enough. And behind every man who is a thief, a greedy woman. She is pushing him ... And no matter how much he brings her she wants more.
This makes women responsible for drugs too:
Either she will tell him to go and deal in drugs, or to go and steal ... If you demand from your husband more than his ability, then what does that mean? Who is the one who would have to become a mafia? A gangster? And steal cars? And smash banks? And deal in the "blue disease" [drugs]?
Women are also the ones responsible for adultery:
But in the event of adultery, the responsibility falls 90 per cent of the time with women. Why? Because the woman possesses the weapon of seduction ...
She is the one wearing a short dress, lifting it up, lowering it down, then a look, then a smile, then a word, then a greeting, then a chat, then a date, then a meeting, then a crime, then Long Bay Jail, then comes a merciless judge who gives you 65 years.
And for male corruption in general:
That's why Satan says about the woman, "You are half a soldier. You are my messenger to achieve my ends. You are the last weapon I would use to smash the head of the finest men ... Oh, you are my best weapon.
The message? That men are the naturally virtuous sex, and that crime and immorality are to be examined in terms of female culpability.
Which is interesting as we in the West are used to the roles being reversed. It has been common in Australia for women to be thought morally innocent and for men to be assumed to be the agents of immoral behaviour.
For instance, soon after the sheik's speech Rob Moodie of VicHealth released a report on domestic violence (Male myths hard to kill Herald Sun 27/10/06). The gist of this report is that there are a number of dangerous "male myths" about domestic violence which need to be overcome. Included in these "myths" are beliefs that:
1) women might make up complaints of rape
2) women might make up claims of violence to gain an upper hand in custody disputes
3) men and women are equally guilty of domestic violence
4) yelling abuse at a partner is not a serious form of violence against women
What does it mean when we are asked to believe that women would not make up complaints of rape or would not make up claims of violence to gain an upper hand in custody disputes?
It would take an especially fervent belief in the moral culpability of men and the moral innocence of women to believe such claims.
You only have to read the newspapers (and trust your own commonsense) to know that such claims are not true, and that women do make up claims of rape and domestic violence.
In September alone three cases came to light of women making up claims of being raped (see here for more information on false rape claims).
As for men and women being equally guilty of domestic violence, there is considerable evidence that this is, in fact, the case. It's true that there's disagreement about this amongst researchers, but to talk of a "myth" when there is serious academic research in favour of this claim is clearly wrong. (See here for further information).
Finally, there's the issue of yelling. It is possible to imagine scenarios in which yelling really is part of a pattern of domestic violence.
Still, it's understandable that people don't want to make any act of yelling part of a definition of domestic violence, as it's an inevitable part of any relationship.
Doesn't it also defy all sense of reality to believe that yelling in marriage is a one way street in which men are the aggressors and women the victims? It's a pity Rob Moodie didn't read the comments of Penny Biggins in yesterday's Age. When asked by an interviewer "How do you resolve disputes or tensions with your partner?", she replied,
I bellow and scream, possibly rather unattractively, he sits looking mutinous, and then it gets sorted. It's a very effective conflict resolution.
The point I am making here is that Rob Moodie is not really challenging the intellectual framework put forward by Sheik al-Hilaly. Instead, he is being a kind of "mirror sheik" who simply switches the place of men and women within the argument.
It must be possible to arrive at a more subtle kind of position on this issue, than that served up by either Sheik al-Hilaly or Rob Moodie. To argue that women are incapable of acts of violence or deception and that we must always assume that men are the culpable aggressors and women the victims is a crude position to take.
It is no answer to the sheik's unrealistic view that men who commit crimes are the victims of the corrupting influence of women.