Thursday, December 14, 2006

The curious incident of Iktimal Hage-Ali

Further update; Iktimal Hage-Ali has relinquished the title of NSW Young Australian of the Year following controversy surrounding her arrest over an alleged cocaine supply ring.

There's definitely more to this story than meets the eye.


The Australian reports that a former member of Strike Force Gain - set up to investigate shootings involving young men of Middle Eastern descent in southwest Sydney and a forerunner to the Middle Eastern Crime Squad - is the brother of the co-founder of the Muslim Village, the website that attacked Ms Hage-Ali for speaking out against Sheik Hilali.

Friends of Ms Hage-Ali said yesterday the she was a victim of a smear campaign because she had criticised Sheik Hilali over a Ramadan sermon interpreted as justifying rape.
Another friend said her opponents were tarnishing "her reputation because she doesn't wear the headscarf".

Curiouser and curiouser

Update; was Iktimal the victim of a Daily Telegraph stitch-up?
Did they know about her Nov 22 arrest and subsequent release before they dubbed her the state's most promising young Muslim leader?

Crikey is pretty sure they did and accuses The Telegraph of a 'pump and dump' strategy more commonly associated with Pop Idol contestants.

Turns out Iktimal is actually an Alawi, a Syrian branch of Shi'a Islam. Many Muslims commenting on local forums are claiming that Alawis are not proper Muslims. True?

3/1/07 update; now that the title of Young Australian of the Year is vacant, this remarkable young woman is a possible replacement for Iktimal.