Kurt Kennedy, a Muslim convert seen here with a bandage over his left eye, was bashed by a group of "nine men aged in their 20s" outside the Abu Bakr Mosque in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).
One of the men involved in the attack was the son of the imam of the mosque, Sheik Mohammed Swaiti, who had been threatened with banishment from the mosque by the Islamic Society of ACT, of which Kennedy is the secretary. "I am the imam of the mosque, I will be here until the day I die," Swaiti is reported to have screamed at his gathered flock.
Naturally, Swaiti was unavailable for comment when The Australian tried to contact him.
A representiative of the Islamic Society of ACT, Mohammed Berjaoui, said that Swaiti was "inciting violence" and voicing "anti-Western" sentiment. The newspaper apparently reported last month that Swaiti had "praised mujahadeen" in a sermon.
"Mr Berjaoui accused Sheik Swaiti of preventing Canberra's Muslim community from integrating into the mainstream."
Getting rid of dysfunctional imams seems to be a recurring nightmare for devout Muslim Australians. Sheik Taj el-Din al-Hilaly, the resident goon, and serial idiot at Lakemba Mosque, is turning out to be welded onto the institution. The Lebanese Muslim Association, which gives Hilaly his commission (is that the correct word?), has been unable to prise him loose from the mosque despite persistent dissatisfaction with his outrageous pronouncements.
He blames the media. Those who are curious can google him. There's plenty to read.
In Canberra, the Pakistani Embassy apparently has been working to keep Swaiti. A member of the local Islamic council has written to the federal foreign minister urging him to intercede to prevent such interference.
The Saudi government has funded Swaiti to the tune of $36,000 per annum.