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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Letter to the Edior re Shiekh Hilaly's comments

My letter was published in The West Australian on Wednesday 31 October.


Dear Editor
For Sheikh Taj El Din al Hilaly to imply that Muslim women such as myself should stay at home, hidden behind their hijab or else expect to be treated as a 'piece of meat' is not only offensive but utterly disgusting. It appears the Sheikh would have us all shroud ourselves in black, walk ten steps behind our husbands and hide our faces in shame lest we unwittingly provoke lust in men who cannot control themselves. How, then are Muslim women expected to make positive contributions as Australian citizens in our society? How are we to excercise our right to education, to work, to life? Rights stated in the Quran.

I call for the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils to act on behalf of the people it is supposed to represent. I call for AFIC to publicly renounce the comments made by the Sheikh and to remove him from his role as spiritual adviser at Australia's largest Mosque.

To date, AFIC has proven itself to be nothing but a platform for individuals such as Ameer Ali to promote their own political agendas. It is time AFIC took some action and showed Australian Muslims where its interests really lie. It is time AFIC did something for the people it supposedly represents and sent a clear message to the broader Australian community that Australian Muslims reject the rantings of Sheikh Taj El Din al Hilaly.

6 comments:

Egypeter said...

Well, well, Usual Suspect. WAY TO GO!! That is an excellent letter you wrote. I hope this doesn't sound silly (as if I'm your father or something :) But I'm so damn proud of you! Way to take action. You've done good for Isalm by your actions, showing a tolerant, progressive, liberal position. I mean, people are alway screaming for the "moderates" to speak up (and I'm one of them :) to counter this tidal wave of extremism. And I know there's a lot of you guys out there. I've met many in person and many on the blogosphere...You, Sandmonkey, Big Pharaoh, etc. So I'm just excited you guys are making a difference. And you're all Egyptian!! Big plus :)

It's also important to mention that you guys are Egyptian because of retards like this Hilali guy. For every Mohammad Atta and Zawihiri there are countless other good Egyptian muslims. I'm convinced of that, but the trick is is to empower them and get them all to bravely speak up.

So regarding this Hilali guy, I found this article of the FreeCopts site. It talks about how his mentor was Sayid Qutb and how he shaped his extreme ideology..which explains his radical comment about 'cat meat' or whatever. I think you might find it pretty interesting.

http://www.freecopts.net/english/content/view/381/42/

Anyway, keep up the great work suspect!

The Usual Suspect said...

Thanks Peter
Your post is really nice and made my day- you didn't sound like my dad at all. Those of us who are trying to speak out often have to contend with so much- not only with the fascists we are trying to silence but also with a lot of people who want to hang on to negative stereotypes and don't want to give us a chance.
I only ever get air time on Indymedia and community TV where I am a bit of a regular. I've been interviewed by popular media but they prefer to give air time to the Hilalis of this world than to the reasonable moderates- makes more money!
When I do public lectures I'm often already preaching to the converted as the audience that's attracted to those kinds of things are already more open minded and willing to listen.
I'm going to Sydney in December to speak at a conference on the Hijab- I don't think they are going to like what I have to say- but it needs to be said. Somebody needs to expose the hypocrisy of the hijab and speak up about where Islam is heading- how it has become hijacked and corrupted. Might as well be me!

Egypeter said...

Ya know Suspect, you remind me of another Egyptian female journalist named Mona Al-Tahaway. Have you heard of her? She's an AMAZING Egyptian Muslim who speaks out on extremism, democracy, Coptic discrimination, female rights and is vocal in her opposition to the Ikhwan. Anyways, she's doing excellent work and it sounds like you're doing the same! Good luck dear!!

All the best to you Suspect!

Anonymous said...

Way to go, suspect :)

Peter, I love Mona Eltahawy... I wish one of the national stations would hire her full time. She's about the only arab muslim I see on the news here in the US with any regularity, and she's only a guest commentator, usually.

Egypeter said...

Hey Craig - Yes, she is awesome. Very progressive and very moderate! Indeed a special Egyptian.

http://www.monaeltahawy.com/

Sorta like Suspect :)

The Usual Suspect said...

Peter and Craig
The penny's just dropped. I received my regular AUC Alumni newsletter today (yes I am a graduate of that elite institution- was very out of place there as the daughter of working class Sydney wogs I must say) and Mona Al Tahawi graduated around the same time I did. She also worked in the Adham Centre which is where I started as a broadcaster in its very early days when it was first established. Was my only stint at broadcasting I have to say as I found acting and literature much more interesting.
Now I remember who Mona is!