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In the religious address on adultery to about 500 worshippers in Sydney last month, Sheik Hilali said: "If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it ... whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat?
Originally posted by Freedom_for_sum
This is proof of the backwards thinking Islam breeds and supports how women are considered as property to Muslim men. Disgusting
"I unreservedly apologise to any woman who is offended by my comments," he said in a statement.
"I had only intended to protect women's honour, something lost in The Australian presentation of my talk."
Sheik Alhilali has been widely condemned by Muslim and non Muslim groups for the Ramadan sermon he gave in Arabic to 500 worshippers in Sydney.
Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV) committee member Sherene Hassan said she was outraged by the comments.
The Islamic Council of NSW also condemned the sheik's remarks.
The council said the remarks were "un-Islamic, un-Australian and unacceptable".
A spokesman for the council, Mr Ali Roude, said he was "astonished" at Sheik Alhilali's comments, saying he "had failed both himself and the Muslim community".
"While we respect the rights of any Australian citizen to freedom of speech, there is a further responsibility upon our civic leaders, be they religious, political or bureaucratic, to offer appropriate guidance to the people under their care," Mr Roude said.