Muslim leader wants elements of Sharia in Australia
March 8, 2010
ELEMENTS of Islamic law - the sharia - should be legally recognised in Australia so that Muslims can live according their faith, a prominent Muslim leader says.
Addressing an open day at Lakemba Mosque on Saturday, the president of the Australian Islamic Mission, Zachariah Matthews, said parts of sharia could be recognised as a secondary legal system so that Muslims were not forced to act contrary to their beliefs. ''Sharia law could function as a parallel system in the same way that some traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander law was recognised in the Northern Territory,'' Dr Matthews told the Herald after the session.
Millions, Hundreds of Thousands, Thousands, Hundreds tons of Australians flock to Lakemba Mosque.. Honest.
Matthews said of the Islamic objective in his writings “The Hijrah: A Necessary Phase in the Dawah” 30 3 2004 on page 4, wrote.
" iii. Secrets should be hidden: The Prophet (s) hid the secrets of his journey and only disclosed them to those with strong ties to him. And, then they were only told what they needed to know in order for them to act - they were "on a need to know" basis. Today we talk about issues that don’t need to be talked about to the general public - what is needed is "less talk and more action."
vi. Deception is necessary: The Prophet (s) instructed ‘Ali (ra) to put on the cloak in which the Prophet (s) normally slept and to lay down on his bed. The Prophet (s) and Abu Bakr (ra) also chose to hide in a cave to the south in the direction of Yemen so as to fool their pursuers. [Al-Ghazali] )
''I don't think we are so unsophisticated that we cannot consider a multilayered legal system as long as it doesn't conflict with the existing civil system.''
The comments shocked some attending the open day. They felt Dr Matthews was advocating the introduction of the penal system under which women have been stoned to death for adultery, and corporal punishment is meted out for some offences.
''It came as quite a shock to some non-Muslims in the crowd when sharia law and the idea of a parallel legal system was mentioned,'' one audience member, Jasmine Donnelly, said.
''One group of people just left straight after that.''
But Dr Matthews said he was referring only to certain elements of family law and inheritance law and was not advocating the sharia penal system.
''I wasn't talking about sharia law in its entirety - we are not calling for the introduction of the penal system which calls for cutting off hands,'' he said.
Dr Matthews said a clash occurred in some custody matters. ''Under sharia law, if a couple divorce and the mother remarries, her former husband has the right to decide whether the children will live with the new husband or not,'' Dr Matthews said.
''There is still a preference for the child to go with the mother, but the father has the ultimate decision.
''This does not exist in Australian law but I do not believe it clashes fundamentally with Australian values or the Australian legal system.''
Muslims kick own goal in PR stunt
Monday, March 08, 2010
Attempts by Australian Muslims to build bridges to the wider community through Saturday’s open day at the Lakemba mosque exploded as dramatically as an Islamist suicide terrorist.
In an effort to present an acceptable face of Islam, the president of the Australian Islamic Mission Dr Zachary Matthews, held an “Ask the Sheikh” session at which he admitted that he and the Islamic community do want sharia law in Australia to government the lives of local Muslims.
This was mentioned uncritically in this article in Monday’s edition of The Sydney Morning Herald yesterday.
“Why is it not possible to manage diverse legal systems? We could have common civil law and personal religious law. If people want to administer their own legal systems then why not?” he said.
As a German man at the back of the crowd said: “I’m German - then I could drive on the roads at whatever speed I want because that’s the law in Germany.”
Dr Matthews said he only wanted sharia to govern the domestic lives of Muslims. Driving on the roads would affect the good of the majority, so that’s different, he said.
But as my correspondent, former Reuter’s reporter Alison Bevege noted in her missive to me, it isn’t.
“Sharia law affects the legal pillars of equality before the law and the separation of church and state. Two far more important principles than a mere speed limit,” she wrote.
“Under sharia law, a man is considered to be boss of the household and his wife must defer to him. He can choose to keep the children in a divorce arrangement even in situations where this would not be best for the children’s welfare.”
While Dr Mathews was presenting an argument for a multicultural society by confusing the flawed concept with the case for a multiracial Australia, books on sale in the basement below the mosque reflected the awful truth about the values broadly supported by those who fully embrace Islam and its holy book, the Koran.
Bevege found most of the books on offer were in Arabic but among those in English were publications which exposed the wide cultural gap that would be legalised under sharia law: Islamic intolerance for homosexuality, for equal rights of women and for individual freedoms.
She quoted from the “The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam” by Yusuf al-Qaradawi, which says: “Because of his natural ability ... the man is the head of the house ... He is entitled to the obedience and cooperation of his wife, and accordingly it is not permissible for her to rebel against his authority.”
And what happens if she does?
After first sleeping apart from her to try to rectify his wife’s behaviour, we learn on page 205 that it is OK for the husband to beat her, although just “lightly with his hands”. As Bevege said, perhaps that means he can just slap her around a bit.
The book then quotes Imam al-Hafiz ibn Hajar who says “To be specific, one may beat only to safeguard Islamic behaviour and if he (the husband) sees deviation only in what she must do or obey in relation to him.”
Bevege, who has worked in North Africa, said despite Dr Matthew’s public support for multiculturalism and diversity, the books in the basement state Muslim women are not allowed to marry non-Muslim men.
“It is forbidden. They might abandon their religion - the ultimate sin of apostasy - punishable in some parts of the world by death.
“But polygamy is legal under sharia - and Muslim men can marry a variety of women both Muslim and non-Muslim.
It’s OK for a Muslim man to marry a non-Muslim woman because she must submit to the husband so she will ultimately be converted,” she said.
“The German’s point about the roads hit upon the massive chasm between those who identify with Islam and Westerners who identify with their country of origin.
“The German identified with Germany. He can be of any religion or none at all as a German. He can be gay or straight or bi and expect equal rights. His nationality-defined identity gives him rights as an individual to be free from state meddling in his personal affairs and equality before the law - as in every Western nation. Church and state are separate.
“Priests do not make legally enforceable decrees from the pulpit. They can not interfere in daily life and the public are not obliged to listen to them.
“But sharia law does not separate church and state. Islam becomes not just a religion but a legal code and a political system.
“Sharia means religious laws and religious leaders being able to make legal decrees. “Sharia is an Islamic system of jurisprudence agreed on and issued by holy men.
“The individual is micromanaged within an inch of their lives. There can be edicts on every facet of existence from hand-washing to what foods you can eat and who you can marry. There are hundreds of directions on how to behave.
“Under some interpretations of sharia law, punishments that seem barbaric to Western eyes are widely practiced. In Islamic countries from Somalia, Saudi Arabia and north Sudan to Pakistan adulterers may be stoned to death or women whipped for daring to wear a pair of jeans. All it takes is one bad holy man.
“There are moderate nations like Malaysia where people are not stoned to death under sharia. But they can still be officially caned and beaten - unlike Australia.
“Those who want sharia do not identify with a nation-state of geographic boundaries but with a global ideology that differs drastically from the values of Western societies. “They follow the nation’s laws out of necessity but their loyalty is to Islam first.
Bevege asked the question that Muslims wanting to introduce sharia to the nations to which they migrate do not seem to have any answer.
“With so many Muslim countries where living under sharia law is possible, in all flavours of moderation or extremism, why would Muslims want to move to Australia then ask for our laws to change? Why not just go and live in one of the many countries where sharia law already exists? It would be more culturally appropriate,” she stated.
She believes one answer lies in the bookstore where among the many books for sale lies a slim volume: “The Return of the Khalifate” by Shaykh Abdalqadir as-Sufi. It outlines the demise of the Ottoman Empire and the need to re-unite the world’s Muslims. The goal: domination under Islam in a global caliphate.
Its premise: Western society is doomed. Democracy is doomed and Westernism in Islamic nations is doomed. Islam is the only answer.
In his book, Sheikh As-Sufi calls democracy a “cynical deception”, in another book by Imam Ibn Hajr catchily-titled
“The Attainment of The Objective According to the Evidences of the Ordinances”, the religious ruling on apostates is bluntly spelled out “Kill those who change their religion”.
Bevege reasonably argues that some might say that similar violent exhortations are contained in the Bible, and that religion is all in the interpretation. They are right. But the difference is that Western countries have a well-defined separation of church and state. The courts are secular. Priests are not judges.
She continued, that is not what happens where religion is law under sharia. In many countries - Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Somalia, under al-Shabaab, all come to mind - these pronouncements are taken literally and apostates have been murdered.
Australia has long been a tolerant society but there are limits to tolerance - and that is a good thing.
As Bevege summed up, while the Sheikh made a valiant effort to sugar-coat the pill, putting on a free sausage sizzle and opening the mosque for a day of PR pleasantries does not change that fact.
She says Australia should defend the limits of multiculturalism and not change the laws of the land for a minority.
“We will safeguard the personal liberties and freedoms of all who come to this country under the Western system of democracy.
“All will be equal before the law. There will be no separate law for Muslims.
“Muslims are very welcome in Australia - there are many very wonderful Islamic people, especially the Somalis, who are my personal favourites,” she wrote. “But in Australia we will not have sharia law, so all Muslims must first decide that religion is to be a personal and private matter not a legal matter for the state, before they choose to move here.
“Otherwise they are free to leave.”