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Sydney Court Brands Australian Muslim Leader Racist - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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London, Asharq Al-Awsat – An Australian Supreme Court Judge stated Friday that head of the Islamic Friendship Association of Australia, Kaysar Trad, “holds views that can be described as racist.”

This statement came as the court issued its verdict against Kaysar Trad, spokesperson for Sheikh Taj Din al Hilali, the mufti of Sydney’s biggest mosque, in a defamation case against a local radio station.

After delivering his Friday sermon at the Imam Ali Mosque in Lakemba, Sydney, the mufti told Asharq Al-Awsat by phone that the court ruling is shocking because it expresses hidden hostility towards Islam and Muslims. Al Hilali suggested that the Australian court ruled against Kaysar Trad because he never criticized some of the controversial comments made by Sheikh al Hilali in the past. He added, “They tried Islam through Kaysar Trad, the Muslim activist in Sydney and Australia; in fact they are making him pay legal fees of 400,000 dollars.”

He stated that the tribunal objected to the spokesman’s views because they are against western values that are tolerant of homosexuality, and nudity on beaches, and because he considered Palestinian resistance against Israel legitimate. He considered the court ruling against Trad “racist”.

Sheikh al Hilali called on the 2GB radio station to apologize for describing Trad as a dangerous person who instigates violence, hatred and racism.

Judge Peter McClelland expressed a similar view when he said, “Many of his remarks are distasteful and appear to condone violence. I’m also satisfied that he encourages others to hold those views. In particular, he holds views derogatory of Jewish people.”

On his part, Trad said that the court ruling against him was “racist.”

“The four members of the jury stood by my side but the judge’s ruling came as a shock,” he said.

Controversial Sheikh al Hilali caused outrage when he once said, “Muslims have more of a right to Australia than Anglo-Saxons who arrived in the country in shackles as convicts as Muslims arrived in Australia as free people in search of better opportunities in life.”

In 2006, Sheikh Hilali stopped preaching for three months after comparing women who do not cover up to “uncovered meat.” He said, “If you put a piece of uncovered meat down somewhere and a cat comes along and eats it, whose fault is it? The cat’s or the uncovered meat? The uncovered meat is the problem.” However, the Sheikh apologised for making these comments and said that his words had been distorted and taken out of context.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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