Grand Mufti May Be Stripped of Title Over Comments in Defence of Terrorism

March 8, 2004

Source: Khaleej Times

On March 8, 2004 the Khaleej Times posted an Agence France Presse article that reported, "Senior Australian Muslims warned Monday they may strip their spiritual leader Sheik Taj el-Din Al Hilaly of his title 'Grand Mufti' because of his reported comments in defence of terrorism. The government has condemned Hilaly, the Imam of Sydney’s Lakemba Mosque, which is the heart of Australia’s 300,000-member Islamic community, and numerous commentators over remarks attributed to him while he was in Lebanon last month. He has insisted that he was misinterpreted, but a translation of his speech by Australian diplomats in Beirut quoted him as referring to the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York as 'God’s work against oppressors'. The chief executive officer of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, Amjad Mehboob, said he would be seeking an urgent meeting with Hilaly to ask him to clarify his views and the federation could discuss stripping him of his title."