Source: The Age
On February 19, 2004 The Age reported, "Australia's most senior Muslim called for a jihad against Israel in a sermon while visiting Lebanon last week, an Arabic-language newspaper has reported. Sheik Taj al-Din al-Hilali, Grand Mufti of Australia and imam of Sydney's Lakemba Mosque, also visited the leader of Hezbollah - banned in Australia as a terrorist group - and praised it as a model. According to a report by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), quoting a Lebanese newspaper, Sheik Hilali told Sheik Hassan Nasrallah that he blessed Hezbollah and praised its sacrifice. Sheik Hilali said: 'Most of the Australian people do not support the policy of the Australian Government, which has placed Hezbollah on the terror list out of submission to the US, and the Australian Prime Minister will pay the price for this at the next election.' According to the MEMRI report, Sheik Hilali, preaching last Friday, called for jihad against Israel, saying 'the war waged by the US and Israel against the Muslims is a cruel war aimed at annihilating the (Islamic) nation'."