US Islamic Leader Cautions Australian Muslim Clerics on Language

March 22, 2004

Source: The Australian,5744,9036225%255E2702,00.html

On March 22, 2004 The Australian reported, "A leading US Islamic leader, visiting Australia to counter extremist views, said yesterday Muslim clerics should use cautious language when speaking of the Israeli-Palestine conflict. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, referring to last month's controversy involving Sydney-based Sheikh Taj Din al-Hilali, the spiritual leader of Australia's Muslims, said sensitive language was important so we 'do not continuously scratch the wound.' Sheikh Hilali sparked concern last month during a visit to Lebanon, where he said the September 11 attack was the work of 'God against the infidels.' He said later mistakes had been made in a translation of his comments from Arabic to English used by the media. NSW Premier Bob Carr last year invited Imam Feisal to Australia to improve relations between the religious faiths. A New York-based leader, Imam Feisal will meet Islamic and other local religious heads including the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell."