The Mufti of Australia, Sheikh Taj Al-Din Al-Hilali was interviewed by Al-Arabiya TV (Dubai). Following are excerpts from the interview:
The Mufti of Australia, Sheikh Taj Al-Din Al-Hilali: When I make Islamic legal statements, I stand behind them, and I fear no rebuke concerning my duty to Allah. Anyone who supports the abhorrent crime that took the lives of thousands of innocent civilians on September 11, 2001 in America, understands nothing of his religion, and it is inconceivable that anyone who understands his religion would justify such a barbaric deed. Such a deed is not accepted by any revealed religious law or by human values.
But this campaign... Yes, I do support the Palestinian resistance, and I support the Palestinian people's struggle for its full right, and I support the Intifada of the Palestinian people, that uses stones against destructive weapons. And I welcome the national and Islamic resistance efforts in Lebanon, that cut off the Israeli hand and had success in both the military and the peaceful political arena.... [This is] a tempest in a teacup, and these statements have no effect. Australia is a multi-cultural society, and is not the property of Howard or of the foreign minister. I am an Australian citizen, like him. If he thinks that the Lebanese Hizbullah, that defended the Lebanese land by means of the Lebanese resistance and with the blessing of the Lebanese, and whose actions have the support of the UN, of the Security Council, of human rights legislation, of revealed religious law and of the man-made laws - if he thinks that Hizbullah is a terrorist organization, then I disagree with him, and see Hizbullah as a national organization.
But this is just a commotion that is over, and it has no effect. According to the security reports, the Australian national security apparatus told the government: With these statements, you declared war on a man whom we are not accusing, regarding words that you distorted as far as possible from their intention.