It is impossible to stay silent on Islamic crisis in Australia for it seems that Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali has opened a chasm so vast that we may never find compatible co-habitation between Islam and the West. While Australians shudder in shock at his words about women being deemed responsible for attacks upon them, his likening of them to pieces of meat left out for the cat, the Islamic community seems to have rallied to his side. He was treated like a rock star when he turned up at the mosque yesterday. Cheers of support for his words.
And thus does the knife slice through the prospect of cultural harmony and understanding. And we Australians find ourselves facing the distressing fact that we have invited into our country a community which openly loathes us and feels justified in abusing our women.
Until now, I have supported our Islamic community. I have moderate Muslim friends I adore, I have tried to help the local Islamic school by contributing regularly to its library, and I have always tried to explain and defend Islam among my peers.
I have, however, been increasingly disappointed in moderate Muslims for not speaking out against extremists, in showing that all Islam is not narrow, judgemental and vengeful.
What I would like them to do is to initiate an education campaign. Just as we are expected to understand where Islam is coming from, they should be teaching their young (and their men) that we are not the same. That we have rules, too. And that our rules emphasise human equality and mutual respect. However little our women wear (and I, too, disdain the Paris Hilton tarty vogue) we function by a concept of mutual consent. More importantly, perhaps, our males are creatures of self-control. They can admire and even lust after women without feeling entitled to molest them. Our society punishes men who are lacking this control. We consider it animalistic and low. They are not respected. A man of control is a real man. Strong and powerful. Also attractive to women. That is how it works in the West.
Islam needs to understand this. It must be taught, preached in Mosques - if ever we are to live together.