THE nation's Islamic leader, Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali, has dismissed the Holocaust as a 'Zionist lie' in a series of fiery sermons in which he also lashed out at the West and the US-led occupation of Iraq.Yes - this is one of those "moderate Muslims" we are always hearing about! At least, as long as he's not speaking Arabic.
Revelations that the nation's most senior Islamic cleric has been openly preaching extreme messages to his mainstream followers will be a major setback for the Howard Government.
Sheik Hilali is a senior member of the Prime Minister's Muslim advisory board.
In a February sermon, Sheik Hilali attacked the Western press for being afraid to admit that the Holocaust was "a ploy made by the Zionists".
He also trivialised the number of Jews killed by the Nazis.
"What's that six million all about? Is there six million?", said the Egyptian-born cleric, before calling on Muslims worldwide to boycott Danish goods over the publication of cartoons that offended Muslims for their depiction of the prophet Mohammed.
"The West say we have freedom and freedom of speech," he told thousands of his followers on February 3. "But journalism stops and shuts up when it discusses the burning of the Jews - the Holocaust -- the Zionist lie and the industry that the West deals in."
In another Friday sermon, delivered two weeks ago at Lakemba Mosque - titled The Zionists Murder Palestinians and the World Watches and the Muslims Are Silent - he called the US the breeders of oppression and labelled Israel a "cancer that is planted in the heart of the Ummah (Muslim community)".
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