We, the undersigned Australian Muslims, wish to declare the following:
a. The views expressed by Sheik Hilaly don't reflect the views of Australian Muslim, particularly those of our generation brought up in
b. Any form of violence against women must be condemned. Sexual violence is never justifiable or justified under any religious code, and Islam is no exception to this.
c. We call upon Sheik Hilaly's employers (AFIC and the Lebanese Moslems Association) to immediately investigate the comments made by Sheik Hilaly, to determine the accuracy of the translation prepared by the journalist Richard Kerbaj and to take immediate action against the Sheik should the translation prove substantially accurate and should the Sheik have been found to have made these or similar such comments.
d. We call upon Muslim religious and organisational leaders to make clear their opposition to and abhorrence of all forms of violence against women.
e. Violence against women is not just a Muslim issue. It is an issue affecting all Australians. Sadly, the views apparently expressed by Sheik Hilaly are too prevalent in the broader community, including in conservative and other political parties. Politicians who want to use the unrepresentative remarks of one imam to score political points would be better advised to deal with sexist and misogynistic trends within their own organisations.
f. We call upon Sheik Hilaly to immediately retract the comments made in his address and apologise to his own congregation and to the broader community for his outrageous comments.
Dated: 26 October 2006
Ms Wajiha Ahmed
Commissioner, Community Relations Commission
Mr Saeed Khan
Councillor, Marrickville Council
Ms Semra Batik
Councillor, Auburn Council
Mr Irfan Yusuf
UNIFEM White Ribbon Day Ambassador
Mevlana Lawyers Society
Ms Alia Karaman