April 27, 2013

AUSTRALIA: Muslim Group Wants Sharia Law In Australia. Aussies Say NO!

ABC news Australia
written by Jacquelyn Hole
Tuesday May 17, 2011

The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils wants Muslims to be able to marry, divorce and conduct financial transactions under the principles of sharia law.

In a submission to the Federal Parliament's Committee on Multicultural Affairs, the Federation has asked for the change.

It argues that all Australians would benefit if Islamic laws were adopted as mainstream legislation.

That is not a view shared by many other contributors to the usually low-profile committee.

It has received hundreds of submissions on the topic.

Ikebal Patel, president of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, agrees the very word sharia could invoke notions of a fierce, unjust, male-dominated legal code.

"Short of trying to really find or use another word, really I would like to suggest that what the Muslim community at least in Australia has to do is to try and explain that there's no aspect of sharia that is being tried to be introduced here," he said.

However, Mr Patel believes everyone would benefit if sharia law were utilised in a pluralistic society such as Australia.

"Under the global financial crisis that we had the established market, the sharemarket sector, the products that are there suffered very badly," he said.

"Whereas the sharia-compliant investment funds did tremendously well and that's been identified by the financial community around the world."

Even popular belief that sharia marriage laws are oppressive towards women are wrong, Mr Patel asserts.

Rather sharia guarantees women's rights that are not recognised in mainstream Australian courts, he said.

But author Ida Lichter, who has written on the lives of Muslim women in both the West and predominantly Islamic countries, disagrees.

"The members of the Iranian and Kurdish Women's Rights Organisation in Britain have drawn attention to these oppressive laws that they escaped by migrating to the West, and they've said that women are much better under legislation based on universal human rights," she said.

Law lecturer Ghena Krayem, who has researched the issue of legal pluralism, says the Islamic community does not want a parallel legal system set up.

"[We] found that there's no evidence from any community leaders of any desire to set up a parallel legal system and I think to pose the question in that way presupposes this assumption that the Muslim community wants an alternative or parallel legal system," she said.

Rather Ms Krayem says some of the processes around legal matters such as divorce and inheritance could take on board Muslim notions of dialogue and alternative dispute resolution, but the law should service all community members alike.

But Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland has ruled out any chance of sharia law being introduced to Australia.

In a statement released to the ABC, Mr McClelland said: "There is no place for sharia law in Australian society and the Government strongly rejects any proposal for its introduction.

"Australia's brand of multiculturalism promotes integration. If there is any inconsistency between cultural values and the rules of law then Australian law wins out."

The Australian
No room for Sharia law in multicultural society
written by Patricia Karvelas
Sunday March 3, 2013

ISLAMIC law and polygamous marriages will be denounced as forever unacceptable in Australia in a bipartisan parliamentary report that will define what multiculturalism means for our nation, and state there must be only "one law for all".

The report -- the result of a two-year investigation into Australia's multicultural strategy -- is understood to be critical of the limited access migrants have to English language training and the lack of cultural awareness shown by employers and the federal employment recruitment agency.

It is also understood to make the recommendation that a national multicultural research centre be established, funded by the federal government and run independently. The centre’s chief role will be to conduct research on how communities are integrating and identify their needs.

The report will be delivered within weeks after the committee — dominated by Labor and Coalition MPs but including the Greens — agreed on a number of policies. However, the Coalition MPs are likely to make some “additional comments” in the report to make it clear where their views are different from those of Labor MPs. The Coalition MPs’ key point will be that some of the Labor initiatives — including the new national research institution — will cost taxpayers more money than may be unaffordable “in this economic climate”.

Coalition MPs are also concerned Labor has been too keen to paint migrants and refugees as “victims” and wants to ensure that they agree only to a pathway of “integration”.

The committee was confronted with a range of Islamic views, including a submission from the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, which argued that Muslims should enjoy “legal pluralism”.

In an interview, the organisation’s president, Ikebal Adam Patel, who wrote the submission, nominated family law and specifically divorce as areas where moderate interpretations of sharia could co-exist within the Australian legal system.

The multiculturalism review also received one submission calling for polygamous marriages to be considered.
The committee has come to the view these more radical ideas should be rejected, explaining that a multicultural society would not tolerate them.

The committee heard that Australians were comfortable with multiculturalism and racial diversity, but an overwhelming number of people expressed concerns Muslims were not integrating and were coming to Australia to impose their values.

It is understood the committee believes the Gillard government’s social inclusion agenda needs to incorporate cultural diversity as a factor and marker for disadvantage. The Weekend Australian tried to contact the committee’s chairwoman, Labor MP Maria Vamvakinou, but she would not comment while deliberations were under way.

She has previously said her committee believed the country needed strong political leadership to ease tensions over Islam.
Reading that article it’s not clear why that title was chosen. All in all it sounds like a losing proposition for Australians – funding more immigration and funding more social programs for immigrants who don’t want to assimilate but prefer sharia or other laws and already have the ear of politicians and think tanks.
The solution begins with a moratorium on immigration and deportation of those who want to create an Islamic state within the state. Ditto America.

But alas, maybe the report has some validity as we just received this: Muslim groups attack findings on sharia:
MUSLIM groups have criticised the findings of a forthcoming parliamentary report on multiculturalism that denounces Islamic law and polygamous marriages.

Federation of Islamic Councils assistant secretary Keysar Trad said the report’s findings, revealed in The Australian’s Sunday edition yesterday, showed a “continued misunderstanding” of sharia.
And Muslims continue to show a continued defense of and push for sharia. Stay tuned. Riots pending.

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