An influential Muslim community leader in Australia who's currently under fire for allegedly saying that girls who wear shorts are “cursed” has responded. 

Almir Colan, who is the director of the Australian Centre for Islamic Finance (AUSCIF), and the Awqaf Australia, completely denied statements published in the Herald Sun's Tuesday issue, saying his words were completely taken out of context: 

In a Facebook post, Colan said: 

"I was shocked this morning to find the Herald Sun attributing to me a quote that school girls who wear shorts are 'cursed'. I have never said such a thing and in fact when the journalist contacted me last week, I explicitly rejected the idea that girls are cursed for wearing shorts," he wrote

"Kids are kids and it is important that we help them to get the most out of play and being active. To say that kids are cursed or anything similar is totally unacceptable," he added. 

"The context of my discussion with the journalist was about current popular trends and gender differences. It was not about kids and how they should or should not dress," he stressed.

The comments - now denied by Colan - had been published in a Herald Sun article on Tuesday. 

In it, the community leader was quoted as saying that if schoolgirls wore shorts it would pave "the way for schoolboys to wear skirts."

“It is part of nature of man and women to be different and to have unique characteristics, even in the way they dress. The Prophet cursed men who imitate women and women who imitate men."  

The words attributed to Colan sparked controversy on social media

Many responded via Twitter

But after his clarification on the matter, people shared messages of support

Others called on him to seek legal advice

A few raised this point:

Colan had given the Herald Sun his comments in relation to a shift in government policy earlier this month that now allows girls to wear shorts at all state schools in the state Victoria.