Thursday, October 26, 2006

Uncovered Meat

This is what Australia's Mufti, Sheik Taj Aldin Alhilali, has called women who do not wear the hijab or stay at home if uncovered:

Sheik Alhilali's comments were delivered in a Ramadan sermon to 500 worshippers in Sydney last month, a newspaper report said.

He blamed women who "sway suggestively" and who wore makeup and no hijab (Islamic scarf) for sexual attacks.

"If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it ... whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat," he said.

"The uncovered meat is the problem.

"If she was in her room, in her home, in her hajib[sic?], no problem would have occurred."

Hmm. Not very appetizing, are we? I'm not quite certain if the comments are intended to apply to all Australian women or only to Australian Muslim women. It's relevant to know of the two recent gang rapes by Muslim men to understand why this statement has been met with great anger and outrage:

Sheik Alhilali's comments have drawn strong criticism from some federal politicians and the federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner Pru Goward, who said he should be sacked and deported.

"It is incitement to a crime. Young Muslim men who now rape women can cite this in court, can quote this man ... their leader in court," she told the Nine Network.
"It's time we stopped just saying he should apologise. It is time the Islamic community did more then say they were horrified. I think it is time he left."

I once got into a heated debate on another blog about my right to discuss the religious commandments of another religion. The point I had made was that religious people often bring their values out into the public arena and that there they can affect the lives of those who are not of the same religion. And in some instances these effects can take women's rights backwards.

This particular case is a good example of the worries that made me engage in that debate.