Top Australian Muslim cleric hospitalized

October 30, 2006 07:49


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Australia's top Islamic cleric, who sparked outrage with a recent sermon saying that immodestly dressed women invite rape, fainted Monday and was taken to hospital while Muslim leaders met to discuss his future role, police said. Earlier Monday, Prime Minister John Howard said that the cleric, Sheik Taj Aldin al-Hilali, may have breached Australia's counterterrorism laws by praising militant jihadists in Iraq and Afghanistan. The 65-year-old Egyptian-born Sunni cleric, who suffers from a heart condition and asthma, was meeting Monday with members of the Muslim association that administers the Sydney mosque where he preaches when the ambulance was called to the building.

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