Muslims groups reject remarks by Australian cleric

Muslim groups and political leaders on Friday rejected the latest remarks by a senior Australian cleric who made headlines last year after likening unveiled women to "uncovered meat." Speaking to Egyptian television earlier this week, Sheik Taj Aldin al-Hilali, the mufti of Australia since 1989, reportedly said Muslim immigrants were more Australian that their Anglo-Saxon counterparts who came here as convicts, according to an English translation published in the Sydney Morning Herald on Friday. "Anglo-Saxons came to Australia in chains, while we paid our way and came in freedom. We are more Australian than them," he was quoted as saying. Al-Hilali appeared on the Egyptian chat show on Tuesday to explain the controversy last year over a sermon he made in which he called women the soldiers of Satan and compared scantily clad females to "uncovered meat" who invite sexual assault. During the half hour show, al-Hilali said his comments had been misrepresented, the result of media conspiracy against the Muslim community.