Yesterday, federal opposition leader Kevin Rudd was demanding that the government revoke Muslim convert and journalist Yvonne Ridley’s visa. Today, he is demanding that Muslim leaders sack Sheikh Taj ad-Din al-Hilaly now rather than wait three months. He isn’t even in government and already he’s trying to tell Muslims what to do.
Meanwhile, federal Labor leader Kevin Rudd said today the muslim cleric must urgently be removed as Australia’s mufti.
Mr Rudd said most Australian muslims would like to see the controversial cleric sacked.
We have a situation where a council of imams, representing a large majority of the Muslim communities in this country, have convened and decided to wait three months before acting. However, Kevin Rudd, a politician whose connection with the Muslim community seems almost non-existent, arrogates to himself the right to tell the world what Muslims want even if it means contradicting the conclusion their own leaders have reached.
“It’s time for Sheik al Hilaly to go and it’s time that that happened as a matter of urgency.”
Perhaps, it is a matter of urgency for Mr Rudd and the ALP. It’s a matter of urgency because the last thing the ALP wants, with an election approaching and Sheikh Taj continuing to be in the media, is for the government to be reminding voters of the role of Rudd’s own party in creating the position of mufti and filling it with Sheikh Taj in the first place.
Leaving aside Kevin Rudd’s opportunistic heckling, reform is taking place and the recent meeting of Australian imams did take steps to resolve the situation. Of course, it might not suit Mr Rudd’s election strategy but that’s a problem for him to resolve. As a matter of urgency.
UPDATE: After the mufti appeared on Iranian television calling on the “Islamic world to stand in the trenches with the Islamic Republic of Iran which possesses the might and the power”, the Minister for Immigration has suggested the mufti might want to think about whether he would rather live elsewhere.