Sheik Hilali, Australia's Mufti since 1989, was quoted as saying: "If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the back yard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it... whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat? The uncovered meat is the problem."
He added: "If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab [Islamic headscarf], no problem would have occurred."
The Egyptian-born Sheik also appeared to refer to a series of notorious gang rapes in Sydney by a group of Lebanese Muslim men who received long prison sentences. He said there were women who "sway suggestively", and wore make-up and immodest dress, "and then you get a judge without mercy [who] gives you 65 years... but the problem all began with who?"