If you think that you have just one life, think again. There's the life you think you have, the life others think you have and the life you really have- three lives!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Hilaly's Dark History

Conversation with my Dad today:

"I can only tell you what I saw with my own eyes and heard with my own
ears. This man has a dark history. He is a liar and a boaster.

Many years ago he got into trouble because he made some comments comparing Australian women to exposed meat- some very offensive comments. The Government said that if he didn't like Australia he could go back to Egypt and he was facing deportation. He didn't like this. He was pissing himself (my Dad actually said "pissing himself"), walking around like a lost man- he couldn't even make his prayers.

He went to the Lebanese community and asked them to stand up for him. A
group of them went to Canberra and protested against deporting Hilaly. The
government gave in and let him stay.

Then when the Iraq/ Iran war started he got involved with the Iranians.
There was a Mosque where the Iranians would go and he would meet with them every so often. They would tell him what to say and who to target.

His sermons at Friday prayers became political. He rubbished the Arab
states, rubbished Egypt and supported the Iranians.

It was then that I spoke up. I said that what he was doing was wrong, that he should be focussing on leading us in prayer and in preaching about Islam- not politics. His supporters hit me like this (my Dad shows how they hit him). They told me to be quiet- they said not to question the Sheikh.

If anyone spoke out, they would send around his heavies to knock on their
door and tell them to keep quiet. This is how they operated. Like a mafia. His
heavies kept people in line. People were afraid to speak out.

He even tried to send some young men to Syria to carry out terrorist
activities. I heard this with my own ears. This happened in front of me. I can
only tell you what I heard and what I saw. He tried to recruit some young ones.
I cannot say what happened because I don't know but I don't think anything came
out of it- I only know that he tried.

This man has a dark dark history. He is only interested in increasing his
own profile. Every Friday he would tell worshippers at the Mosque "What will you
do without me? Muslims in Australia will be lost without me as Imam". Eventually
he convinced them to give him the role of Mufti.

This man is a liar and only cares about himself. He is supported only by
people who want to increase their own profile as well- that's why they attach
themselves to him.

There is more that I can say. But I will only tell you what I heard and
what I saw with my own ears and my own eyes. There are other things that are
said about him- but these things I cannot verify- but I know what I heard and
what I saw."

Friday, January 12, 2007


Recent coments by Sheikh Taj El Din Al Hilaly (often referred to in the Australian media as Mufti of Australia) have again caused a media and public furore.
Sheikh Al Hilaly has openly demonstrated on Egyptian television his incapacity to lead Australian Muslims.
Australian Muslims cannot allow this situation to continue. It is up to us to do something about it and to show the broader community that we are peaceful, law abiding and loyal Australians.
If we do nothing, we only have ourselves to blame.


We, the undersigned Australian Muslims, reject comments made by Sheikh Taj El Din Hilaly.

We consider that these comments are offensive to all Australians and are not representative of the views of Australian Muslims.

We call upon the Australian media to desist in referring to Sheikh Hilaly as the leader of Australian Muslims.

We call upon the Australian National Imams Council to remove Sheikh Hilaly from office and to relinquish him of the title of Mufti of Australia.

Three ways you can sign this petition:

1. Go to:

2. Send me an email and I will forward an email petition which you can send on to other email contacts

3. If you would like to assist in collecting names for the petition, send me an email and I will email or post a hard copy of the petition to your nominated address.

If you want to do more:

Contact your local media. Write a letter to the newspaper, call talkback radio, send an email to your local paper, write to your local MP- you should state clearly and unequivocally that:

-Sheikh Al Hilaly does not represent Australian Muslims

-Australian Muslims do not share his views

-Sheikh Al Hilaly does not have community support as a leader of Australian Muslims in any capacity.

If you need assistance in drafting a letter, please email me and I will offer some suggestions on how to ensure that your letter is published.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Enough is Enough

Right, that's it. I've had it with Sheikh Taj El Din Hilali and his embarrassing, degrading and harmful comments. The man needs a muzzle.

I'm sending out a Petition to all Australian Muslims denouncing his comments and stating once and for all that he DOES NOT represent Australian Muslims, he IS NOT our 'leader', he WAS NOT elected into any position and we DO NOT recognise him.

I'll post it on here when I'm done and I'll send it to my contacts in the media and in government. We live in a democracy- so let's take democratic action to STOP THIS ONCE AND FOR ALl.


Monday, January 08, 2007

Dialogue between Jews and Muslims

I have a Jewish friend with whom I see eye to eye on many issues. But there is one issue that we always debate and that I do not agree with her on.

My friend insists that you cannot have dialogue between Jews and Muslims without talking about the Israel/ Palestine situation. I disagree.

Firstly, there are a lot of Muslims in the diaspora who have never engaged with the Israel/Pal situation and who have no indepth knowledge or interest in it. Over a third of Muslims in Australia are Australian born. The largest ethnic groups after that is Lebanese in the East and SE Asian Muslims in Western Australia. For these people there are other issues that are much more salient than ME conflicts. Does this mean that we should exclude them from interfaith dialogue and debate? Or should we be forcing them to engage with an issue that they feel has no immediate relevance to their lives?

Secondly, what about Palestinian Christians? If we are going to base interfaith dialogue on the conflict, then shouldn't Christians have an equal say and participation? In that case then, why restrict dialogue to Muslims and Jews at all, bring in all faiths and include athiests as well.

I'd be interested in what others think- especially Jews in Israel and elsewhere. Do you think that dialogue is impossible without talking about Israel and Palestine? Why or why not?

Common Ground

This may seem a bit simplistic but sometimes when you stand back and look at something that seems complex, it really is quite simple:

I've been having a bit of an exchange of Sandmonkey's blog with an anonmymous poster who identifies himself/herself as a Christian and who insists that:
  • Islam wants to take over the world
  • Sharia is the absolute antithesis of Western ideals and values
  • Muslims hate the West so the West must hate Muslims
  • All Muslims are the same
  • There is no such thing as a moderate Muslim. Muslims who are moderates are not really Muslims and do not understand their religion.

Seems to me that this is very much what the Jihadis think:
  • The worldwide Nation of Islam must unite
  • The West is the absolute antithesis of true Islam
  • The evil West and their Zionist co-conspirators hate Islam and want to destroy it so Muslims must hate them
  • Islamic ideology is not flexible
  • Muslims who are moderate and who live in the West are Kafir and do not understand true Islam.

Then there are Christians who take this view:
  • Christianity preaches love and tolerance
  • The best way to deal with Muslims is on an individual basis and to show them love
  • Jesus taught us to forgive and to turn the other cheek

And there are Muslims who take this view:
  • Islam preaches tolerance of all races and religions
  • Islam is the religion of peace- violence and agression are un Islamic
  • The best way to deal with the current situation is to engage in dialogue with people of other faiths

Do you see a pattern here? Can you see the common ground?

Looking at it this way, the schisms are not between Islam and the West or Christianity but between those who have a rigid, fundamental, unbending view of their religion and the world and those who do not.

Just my opinion.

Fearing Fear

I'm in the middle of writing an article on the fear of terrorism based on my research and I find myself reflecting on my own feelings here.

Just to put it into context: the project that I'm working on looks at how people are responding to the new era of increased security and global terrorism. We've found that people are adopting both preventative and protective behaviours. Preventative behaviours means that people avoid circumstances that they think are dangerous such as air travel or using public transport. Protective behaviours means that people are taking measures to protect themselves in circumstances that they are dangerous. For most this means being more wary and taking more note of their surroundings on airplanes, buses and in public places.

So I started thinking about myself. Have my behaviours changed? Do I now avoid certain situations? Am I more suspicious of people on airplanes? Do I get nervous around unattended baggage?

To be honest- I really can't say that I have done any of those things. And now I'm wondering why.

For a start, I don't believe that there is a huge terrorist threat to Australia. I guess for me that terrorism is still something that happens in other places. I often joke about the fact that if the terrorists were to launch a 9/11 style attack on my home town they would probably fly a plane into the Bell Tower and that most people here would welcome the destruction of such an ugly eyesore.
See for yourself:

Looks like a cockroach hey!

The Bell Tower is the legacy of one of our former Premiers (head of State Government) and each time I look at this phallic symbol I cannot help but think that he must have a very very small dick!

I also think that because I'm an unrecognisable Muslim (in the sense that I do not wear hijab) that I also don't have a sense of fear of backlash or vilification from some members of the broader community that some Muslims have. I know a few people who stopped going to public places because they were worried that they might be attacked after 9/11, Bali and London. Won't catch me doing that. Actually there is almost nothing in this world that would prevent me from going shopping.

But perhaps the biggest reason why I haven't changed my behaviours in any way is that I've never really been one to avoid situations that others might see as dangerous. I have a strong belief that when it is your time to go it is your time to go- whether that is in a car accident, through terminal illness, plane crash, or while bungee jumping. There's nothing that you can do about it. I was on a plane once with a friend who got really nervous and scared when we hit some turbulence. I mean she was really panicking and I just couldn't understand it. I kept thinking 'well, if this is it, this is it. No use wasting my energy on panicking about it."

I'm more worried about my kids being in a dangerous situation than myself which is I often tell them "don't try this when I'm not looking because I promise you I will find out and you will be grounded for life".

Don't know if any of that makes sense. Perhaps I need to think some more about it. Perhaps I really do have a subconscious fear that I'm not aware of. Perhaps I need to get in touch with my inner fear!