Legendary rock legend Gene Simmons
sparked outrage in Australia earlier this month when he made anti-Muslim comments on a Melbourne radio station.
"This is a vile culture and if you think for a second that it's willing to just live in the sands of God's armpit, you've got another thing coming," the Israeli-born musician said on Melbourne’s 3AW radio.
"They want to come and live right where you live and they think that you're evil. Extremism believes that it’s okay to strap bombs onto your children and send them to paradise and whatever else and to behead people,” he continued.
The Kiss bassist, who was in Australia on tour, continued on his anti-Muslim rant for over a minute stating that dogs were treated better than Muslim women, and insinuating that the West was under threat.
"Your dog, however, can walk side by side, your dog is allowed to have its own dog house... You can send your dog to school to learn tricks, sit, beg, do all that stuff - none of the women have that advantage," Simmons stated.
Simmons said that the United Nations approach was not effective, suggesting that the West had to “speak softly and carry a big stick.”
Simmons has since defended his comments, stating “I was asked about extremists, and that’s what I was talking about – only extremists.”
His apology has not satisfied the Australian Muslim community, however. After Simmons appeared on the radio show, 3AW fielded calls from several angry listeners. One of those callers was Australian Muslim of the year, Susan Carland.
Carland explained that Australians Muslims rejected extremism and did not fit Simmons unfortunate stereotype, claiming that she holds two degrees and “certainly do not walk behind my husband.”
Another notable caller was Chairman of the Islamic Council of Victoria Yasser Soliman, who worried about Simmons cultural influence.
“He's very famous obviously and popular and, as a result, influential," he said. "Mixing the entertainment world with the political and religious world is a minefield."
"I think it would be good for overseas speakers and commentators to be given some sort of advice in regards to our vilification laws here," he said.
"They leave and go back to where they arrived from, but they leave behind a big mess that we have to live with."
Soliman also noted that Simmons comments were not only offensive, but also inaccurate.
"A number of his claims regarding women and what they are allowed to do and not do are wrong – Islam teaches the opposite," he said.
Reprinted with permission from Shalom Life