…Who promptly gives him a clean bill of health and writesÂ an astounding puff piece on Dark Ages terrorist-supporting hate cleric Taj al-Din al-Hilali:
The mufti we love to hate
Stirring the pot … Hilaly cooks dinner at his Greenacre home. He says he is happiest in the kitchen.
Photo: Bob Pearce
Age and experience have softened the outspoken Sheik Taj el-Din al Hilaly, who talks to Ben Cubby.
* Why would that be, Ben?
SINCE arriving on a tourist visa in 1982, and overstaying, Sheik Taj el-Din al Hilaly has lurched from scandal to opprobrium in a way that would have embarrassed Anna Nicole Smith. The holder of the disputed title of Mufti of Australia has politicians falling over each other to tell people how much they dislike him.
A stream of contentious public comments – comparing scantily clad women to uncovered meat, questioning the Holocaust, attacking the sentence given to the gang rapist Bilal Skaf and cracking jokes about Australia’s convict heritage – has given even potential supporters cause to edge away from the sheik.
* Glad you don’t have a problem with that, Ben. What did Hilali feed you? Hash cookies?
More recently, he has faced claims that donated Australian money which he passed on in Lebanon might have ended up with terrorist groups.
* Thats right. We’re waiting for the indictment…
Yet in parts of the Muslim community, especially among elements of Lebanese Australian society, support for Hilaly remains strong.
* Wasn’t he supposed to be sacked Ben? How come the support is so strong?
Away from the spotlight, Hilaly lives a relatively unglamorous life in the south-western suburbs of Sydney. The former sharia court judge is happiest in the kitchen, cooking. He adores his adopted country, he says.
* Why didn’t you ask a few questions about the flogging, the beheadings, and bout the sharia, Ben? Inquisitive Australian minds would love to know!
“I have fallen in love, after the age of 40, with a beautiful lady named Australia,” Hilaly told the Herald. “What many of those who do not know me, who are angered by some of my comments, are ignorant of, is that I am a person who loves literature, in particular satirical poetry.”
* The rest is just too embarrassing and to stupid to print, but read it all: