Melbourne, Jan.23 (ANI): Outspoken Islamic cleric Abu Hamza has branded Australians as boozers who are hooked on gambling and prostitution.
In another sermon broadcast over the Internet, the Melbourne cleric urged followers to spread the word of Islam to save Australians, the Herald Sun reports.
"They think happiness can be achieved by being intoxicated, by going to the casino and blowing your money away, by going from one prostitute to the other. They don't know what life is all about, that's why they are on the booze, why they are binge drinking ... why unfortunately suicide has skyrocketed, murder, anxiety and depression," he was quoted, as saying.
Hamza's rhetoric comes a day after Prime Minister Kevin Rudd demanded that another cleric apologize for telling Muslim men that they could hit their wives and demand sex.
An overwhelming majority of news.com.au readers criticized the cleric.
"These remarks have no place in modern Australia at all. I would call upon this Islamic cleric to publicly apologise and repudiate his remarks. Under no circumstances is sexual violence permissible or acceptable in Australia ... nor are they acceptable, in my view, to mainstream Muslim teaching. So I say Australia will not tolerate these sorts of remarks. They don't belong in modern Australia and he should stand up, repudiate them and apologise," said Rudd.
Hamza, born in Lebanon, moved to Australia as a youth with his parents. He has delivered contradictory lectures, at times telling his followers they should be grateful to live in Australia because it had a fair system of justice, welfare safety nets and the rights for individuals to express their views. (ANI)