Sunday, October 29, 2006

Enough with the Stupidity, Already

… And who is someone wise? The one who prescribes the right medicine for the right illness, we call him wise. And the one who says the right word at the right time, we call him wise. And the one who acts appropriately on issues, wise.
(Sheik Hilali in that sermon)
My personal prize for the worst headline in today’s news – and I admit that I haven’t looked very far – is this headline in The Age:
Prove it and I will stand down, says the sheikh
Reading on, it’s clear that the headline should be something like “If my mates can prove to me that I meant to say what you think I said then I’ll stand down”:
… Sheikh Hilali said yesterday: "I will stand down and leave all work related to the Muslim community if they can prove what I said was meant to be offensive. I won't be saying anything to them (the clerics) but will listen to what they have to say." He said he was confident he would have their support.

In other words, the Sheikh has no intention of stepping down. A less disingenuous position would be for the Sheikh to declare that he will stand down if the invited clerics can prove that, by his own standards, he’s far from wise and actually pretty stupid:

And the one who says the right word at the right time, we call him wise.
So, did his rambling sermon – which declared that atheists and trinitarian Chrisitans will be damned to hell, that the grasping materialism of wives is responsible for drug dealing and organised crime, that the “immodesty” of women is responsible for the crime of rape and that women are Satan’s best weapon – show that the Sheikh is wise?

First, none of this guff was meant to be offensive, as the Sheikh has said today. We can also see this from the Sheikh’s quick qualification of his remarks on grasping women who incite their husbands to become career criminals:

… Not our women in Australia, the women of Canada. The hall up there is full. They are the women of Canada and Mexico, the ones who encourage their men - to do what? Go! Get me! And no matter how much he brings her, she wants more.

Well, that’s alright then – no Australian woman, particularly a member of Sheikh Hilali’s congregation – would push her husband into crime to satisfy her greed, but those Canadian and Mexican women, they’re different – stay well away from those.

But do we call the man who realises that he has just said something highly offensive to his audience and has to improvise a rapid qualification of his opinion a wise man?

Sheikh Hilali said he was upset that his sermon, which was meant to "protect the modesty of Muslim and non-Muslim women", had been so misunderstood.

In hindsight he would have used a different example during his Ramadan sermon, he said.
(The Age)
Do we call the man who chooses the wrong example to use during a sermon, a wise man? Or do we call him something else?

“My sermon did not discuss or mention rape. The message of my sermon was intended to protect oneself from sexual predators and indecent attacks.”
(The Age)

… The Al-Rafihi scholar says in one of his literary works, he says: If I come across a crime of rape - kidnap and violation of honour - I would discipline the man and teach him a lesson in morals, and I would order the woman be arrested and jailed for life.
(The sermon)
Do we call a man who can’t even remember what he said, or attempts to unsay it a wise man? Or do we have better names for this kind of a man?

So, enough already. Sheikh Hilali is just plain stupid. And the loyal followers who have rallied to his defence – well, they’d have to be pretty bloody stupid too, wouldn’t they? And all those people who’re prepared to big noise this numbnut as a threat to the Australian way of life – on this subject, they’re the biggest bloody idiots of all, regardless of where you find them.

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