This just in: Extreme Islam and Mainstream Islam are the same thing.

Islam had a defining moment Oct. 26. (You know, like the Democrats booing Boy Scouts at their 2000 national convention.) In Sydney, Sheik Taj el-Dene Elhilaly was reaffirmed as the Grand Mufti over all of Australia’s 350,000 Muslims. The vote of affirmation came from the ruling body of Sydney’s largest mosque after Elhilaly broke all bounds of decency in September by referring to women in Western dress (that is, no hijab) as “uncovered meat.”

“If you take uncovered meat and put it on the street … without a cover and the cats eat it, is it the fault of the cat or the uncovered meat?” the sheik asked in his sermon given before 500 worshippers at Lakemba Mosque. “The uncovered meat is the problem. If the meat was covered, the cats wouldn’t roam around it. If the meat is inside the fridge, they won’t get it … if the woman is in her boudoir, in her house and if she’s wearing the veil and if she shows modesty, disasters don’t happen.”

The disaster he referred to happened in 2000. Miss C., an 18-year-old girl, was raped 25 times by up to 14 men. Her only enticement was being a young, white, unprotected Australian. Sitting on a train, she was dressed for a job interview in her best suit and reading “The Great Gatsby.” Accosted by the Muslim rapists, she was called a slut (and later, an “Aussie pig”). Bilal Skaf, one of the rapists, boasted to the terrified girl that he was going to rape her “Leb style.”

“I looked in his eyes,” she said. “I had never seen such indifference.” And this is what Elhilaly, in Muslim distortion of truth, calls “flirting.”

Attention, ladies everywhere outside the Islamic Gulag: When you dress up in your best Donna Karan, knee-length business suit with matching classic pumps, you are “uncovered meat.” Of course, you could raise yourself to the level of “covered meat” whenever you leave the house by donning a full-length burqa with a meshed slot for your eyes.

In reference to the recent gang rape trial of Skaf, Elhilaly commented: “A woman possesses the weapon of seduction. It is she who takes off her clothes, shortens them, flirts, puts on make?up and powder and takes to the streets, God protect us … then it’s a look, then a smile, then a conversation … then a date, then a meeting, then a crime, then Long Bay jail. Then you get a judge, who has no mercy, and he gives you 65 years.”

Elhilaly later tried to deny the avalanche of criticism by lying. He said that his sermon referred only to prostitution, not to rape of ordinary women. Unfortunately for him, his 17-minute rant was tape-recorded. He did talk about rape and didn’t even mention prostitution.

In the Muslim doctrine of Elhilaly, women are a “weapon” used by “Satan” to control men. In cases of “zina” (adultery), the responsibility falls 90 percent of the time on the woman. Note that this differs radically from the biblical law of Moses that preceded Muhammad by 2,000 years; even in that ancient, primitive time, a Hebrew woman was at fault in rape cases only if the attack were in a city and she failed to cry for help.

As one Australian recently wrote, “After no fewer than eight gang-rape trials involving Muslim defendants, and hundreds of incidents in which women have been insulted as ‘sluts’ and ‘whores’ by Muslim men, the charade is over. We have a problem.”

Yes. The problem is that in the Islamic world, men are allowed to behave like children and maniacs. Somebody else (like women) must always be at fault. Unlike Christians, they never have any assurance of heaven. They cannot admit to guilt in anything because “Allah” is not a god of grace and forgiveness. My own sister Ginger was once surrounded by would-be rapists on a street in Tehran. Fortunately, she has a commanding presence when riled, and the attackers gave way when she yelled, “You call yourselves Muslims? Would Allah be pleased with you?” They apparently realized that Allah would not forgive them. (She later commented to me, “Thank God for Allah!”)

Islam has lost all our respect. Let us not continue to laud it as “one of the great religions of the world.” It’s the world’s second-biggest religion, but not great by any other measure. It is merely a plague – a brutal, old-world system of oppression and war started by a man who “wed” a captured child of 9. His legacy lives on.

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