Tim Blair


New Criterion



Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Australia's longest-serving Imam, Sheik Fehmi Naji, delivers the murderous Mufti, al Hilaly, a fair whacking.

Stephen Crittenden: Sheikh Fehmi, Sheikh Hilaly only really speaks Arabic. We hear this talk about flowery, poetic language and him being misunderstood. Do you accept that?

Sheikh Fehmi: (laughs) I don’t buy that.

Stephen Crittenden: Why not?

Sheikh Fehmi: Because language, while I’m speaking Arabic, I know what I’m talking about, and I have to express myself properly, even in a rhetorical way or not a rhetorical way,

What's to do? Fehmi is putting it to the Federation of Australian Islamic Councils. Strength to his arm.

Stephen Crittenden: Do we need a Mufti at all?

Sheikh Fehmi: Not all the time. Not necessarily.

If we can't do better than what we've got, not now, not ever.