Friday, January 12, 2007

Is Sheik al-Hilaly claiming Australia for Islam?

Sheik al-Hilaly, the Mufti of Australia, is in the news again. In an interview aired on Eyptian television he said:

The Western people are the biggest liars and oppressors and especially the English race. The Anglo-Saxons who arrived in Australia arrived in shackles. We paid for passports from our own pockets. We have a right in Australia more than they have.

So according to Australia's leading Muslim cleric, we Anglo-Australians are the "biggest liars and oppressors" with less right to a country founded and pioneered by our ancestors than recently arrived Islamic immigrants.

There are two points to be made about this. The first is to note how difficult multiculturalism makes things for a majority population. It leads us to be identified as the "oppressor" class for all those who want to press claims on behalf of their own communities.

It's not a great role to occupy, to be "named" only in a negative context, when you are being accused of something, or held to be discriminatory or unjust.

In the case of the sheik, the process has reached absurd lengths. In his recent interview, he includes as evidence of Anglo-Australian discrimination and injustice the treatment of the Lebanese rapists in Sydney.

These rapists, fourteen Muslim Lebanese men, targeted and gang raped seven Australian girls (one as young as fourteen), calling them names such as "Aussie pig" during their ordeal.

Most people would see this is a case in which it was the Anglo-Australians who were the victims, but not so the sheik. He manages to turn even this into a claim that the Muslim men were treated unjustly and are the victims of Australian discrimination.

However, there's an even more important aspect of the sheik's interview, one which has mostly been ignored.

When the sheik says "We have a right in Australia more than they have," he is making a serious claim.

In 2004, the Mufti gave an earlier series of interviews in the Middle East. In these interviews, he suggested that Australia was originally a Muslim country and that Aborigines followed Islamic customs:

the Mufti ... claims Alice Springs bears a resemblance to the holy Muslim city Mecca and was called that by early Afghan settlers. "The Europeans issued a false birth certificate for [Australia] when British seafarer Captain James Cook reached it. Australia already had the most ancient race of men on the face of the earth - the Aborigine people."

The Mufti said many Aboriginal customs resembled Islamic practices - including circumcision, marriage ceremonies, respect for tribal elders and burial of the dead. All customs that show they were connected to ancient Islamic culture before the Europeans set foot in Australia.

..the Mufti said Muslim call to prayer was heard in Australia before a church bell. "The best evidence of this is the hundreds of mosques in the centre of Australia built by the Afghans. Some of them were destroyed, others were turned into Australian archeological museums and still others remained unharmed and they bear a history that proves that Islam has roots and ancient connections to Autralia ...

The Mufti said he had found a map of Alice Springs under the name Mecca. (The Daily Telegraph 19/02/04)

Why would the Mufti make such extraordinary claims? Perhaps because it is held within Islam that a country which has once been part of the Islamic world must remain forever within it. Therefore, if Australia has a Muslim history, predating Christian settlement, the Mufti can regard it as being rightfully Islamic.

I wonder if the engineers of multiculturalism are up to speed on this: that the leading representative of Islam is not interested in Islam being just one religion amongst many in Australia, but is effectively making claims of right over Australia - and that he is bold enough to do this already when Muslims are as yet only a small percentage of the population.

You have to wonder how all this will play out in the future.


  1. This has nothing at all to do with this post, but I have foolishly switched to the 'New Blogger' and now can't get into my blog, it just sends me in circles, telling me to sign in with my google account, and then once I do that bringing me back to the blogger front page, then sending me back to my google account page!
    Anyone know what to do?

  2. Can I ask why this clown persists on returning to Australia each time? He has embarrassed his community beyond repair, and judging by his absurd tendency to place his foot in his mouth, seems incapable of representing anyone even remotely sane.

  3. anonymous, he is very popular in parts of Sydney. His views are widespread and nothing out of the ordinary.

    When a culture, such as ours, spends 40 years degrading and flagellating itself, it is natural that others sense the weakness, feel disgust and pounce.

    He says what he says because he can.

  4. When a culture, such as ours, spends 40 years degrading and flagellating itself, it is natural that others sense the weakness, feel disgust and pounce.

    Shane, good point. Even now some leftists are trying to use the latest Hilaly episode as evidence of Australian racism - and Hilaly is only too willing to agree.

    This is despite the fact that it was Australians who came under attack from Hilaly, as being liars and as having less rights to the country than Muslim immigrants.

    Some on the left just can't put aside the idea of Australians being the bad guy oppressors, and "the other" being the hard-pressed victim.

  5. Anonymous 1, sorry I can't help, though I've heard of the same thing happening to someone else (the other person emailed the google technicians).