What legacy did Australia’s former Grand Mufti, Sheikh Taj Din al-Hilali — named “Muslim Man of the Year” in 2005 and the country’s most senior, longest-serving (1988-2007) Muslim cleric — leave behind?
In 1988, when Hilali was imam of the largest mosque in Australia, he gave a speech at Sydney University in which he described Jews as the cause of all wars and the existential enemy of humanity.
In October 2006 — insinuating that the long prison sentences handed to Sydney’s Lebanese gang-rapists for attacking young teenage girls in the year 2000, were unfair — he compared Australian women who do not wear the Islamic veil to meat left uncovered in the streets and then eaten by cats. During his long career, Hilali also praised suicide bombers as heroes and called the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in the United States “God′s work against oppressors” and “the work of 100 percent American gangs”.
At the time, Hilali’s principal adviser and spokesperson, Keysar Trad, wrote, “The criminal dregs of white society colonised this country and… the descendants of these criminal dregs tell us that they are better than us.” Trad subsequently served as president of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils — the national umbrella organization, which represents Australian Muslims at national and international level — from July 2016 until May 2017.
According to Australian senator Cory Bernardi:
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