Sharia DownUnder

Sharia law at work in Australia

“Legal pluralism abounds in this country”

Chris Merritt, Legal affairs editor,  The Australian (thanks to Mullah)

SHARIA law has become a shadow legal system within Australia, endorsing polygamous and underage marriages that are outlawed under the Marriage Act.

A system of “legal pluralism” based on sharia law “abounds” in Australia, according to new research by legal academics Ann Black and Kerrie Sadiq.

They have found that Australian Muslims have long been complying with the shadow system of religious law as well as mainstream law.

But in family law, not all Muslims were registering their marriages and some were relying on religious ceremonies to validate unions that breached the Marriage Act.

This included “polygynist marriages”, in which a man takes multiple wives, and marriages where one party is under the lawful marriage age.

Their research, which will be published on Monday in the University of NSW Law Journal, says that the wider community has been “oblivious to the legal pluralism that abounds in this country“.

Studies in Islam: Polygamy 101

The findings come soon after Ikebal Patel, president of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, triggered a backlash inside the Islamic community when he called for Australia to compromise with Islam and embrace legal pluralism.

Mr Patel later said he supported secular law and it had been a mistake to even mention legal pluralism.

The latest research has found that while polygamy is unlawful, mainstream law accommodates men who arrive in Australia with multiple wives and gives some legal standing to multiple partnerships that originate in Australia.

“Valid Muslim polygynist marriages, lawfully entered into overseas, are recognised, with second and third wives and their children able to claim welfare and other benefits,” they write.

Changes to the Family Law Act in 2008 meant that polygamous religious marriages entered into in Australia could also be recognised as de facto marriages. “It means a second wife can be validly married under Islamic law . . . and be a defacto wife under Australian law with the same legal entitlements as any other de facto relationship,” they write.

The findings on polygamy were confirmed yesterday by Islamic community leader Kuranda Seyit. His personal view was “one wife is enough”. But a small minority of Muslim men were taking second wives in ways that breached family law and their Islamic obligations.

“A second wife is permitted under Islam, but it is very difficult and there must be absolutely equal treatment of both wives,” said Mr Seyit, who is director of the Forum on Australia’s Islamic Relations.

He was aware of a very small number of “exploitative” arrangements in which men were taking much younger second wives and not complying with the sharia requirement of equal treatment.

“It’s definitely a minority, but unfortunately is does exist and I think it comes down to the standard of living that Australia affords many men who normally would not be able to afford such a situation,” Mr Seyit said.

In their article, associate professor Sadiq and Ms Black note that research on Islamic marriage found in 2008 that 90 per cent of Muslims did not want to change Australian law.

They write that many Muslims support the protection of human rights and had come to Australia because of practices such as genital mutilation and honour killings in countries ruled by unreformed versions of sharia.

However, they suggest there should be “tweaking” of family law to take account of sharia.

They suggest that the Family Law Act could be changed to ensure that when courts make parenting orders Muslim children are given similar rights to those enjoyed by indigenous children.

This would require courts to consider they have a right to enjoy their own culture and the culture of people who share their culture.

Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland said if there was ever any inconsistency between cultural values and the rule of law “then Australian law wins out”.

“There is only one law that’s applicable in Australia – that’s Australian law based on our common law tradition,” he said. “Our constitutional founders included a provision against the state endorsing or prescribing any religion or religious practice.”

He said the Family Law Act included specific provision for courts to consider, among other factors, an individual’s lifestyle and background culture and traditions. “The government believes these provisions to be adequate,” Mr McClelland said.

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7 thoughts on “Sharia DownUnder”

  1. Glenda Kwek has a puff piece in the Sydney Moonbat Herald:

    What is sharia?

    Here’s the answer from the Q-Society:

    The ‘whole’ of sharia, we are told, is rarely implemented and this ‘whole’ paints a very bad picture. Why would Australia want any part of it? Sharia is a legal apartheid system of gender and religious discrimination. While Ms Hussain says: “One of the principles of sharia is that, if Muslims live in a non-Muslim country, they are expected to obey the law of the land”…she adds “unless it clearly conflicts with Islamic law”.

    Well it does. It contradicts Australian law in part and in whole. Notice when anything conflicts with Islamic law its sharia that must be followed. Dr Rane said: “… sharia is concerned about the promotion of people’s benefits and rights’- this is simply not true; it’s concerned with the rights of Muslims only; non-Muslims under sharia are legally second class citizens. (I would call that the understatement of the year. In fact, non-Muslims under sharia are lower than slaves and face extreme hardship and discrimination, followed by forced conversion or genocide.) As for the law not being taken into the hands of individuals, whatever Dr Rane may say, this is happening all over the world and getting fueled by influential Islamic organisations. The OIC Charter actually recommends adherence to Islamic law and sharia standards for those living in non-Islamic nations. This supports the more extremist Khalifah concept; the one world Islamic government. If Australian law is only recognized when it doesn’t conflict with sharia, we are headed for the same lawlessness we see in Europe.

    Indeed.

    “Sharia is concerned about the promotion of people’s benefits and rights”- well, yes. Replace ‘peoples’ with Muslims and benefits and rights with a Islamic supremacy and you get a Caliphate or emirate with masters and serfs. (Dhimmies)

    Thanks but no thanks.

    Dear Sir/Madam;

    What happened to the Golden Rules of journalism? How can your editors
    give breathing space to such distorted views and lop-sided whitewash of
    the most discriminatory, misogynist, violent and totalitarian ideology?

    This article is overflowing with ignorance, falsehoods, half-truths and deceitful
    omissions – fresh from 1001 Arabian Nights and served up by a tag team of
    taqiyya artist and islamophile ignoramus.

    Where is the balance?
    Where is the counter-view?
    Does truth still matter?

    As to the facts today in Australia:

    We have a multi-million dollar sharia-compliant food industry.
    We have billions of dollars of investment from sharia-compliant companies.
    We have Labor politicians actively manipulating our tax laws to better accommodate
    sharia-finance! We have sharia law taught in Saudi-funded universities.
    We have sharia advisory councils, sharia kitchen courts, sharia-compliant polygamy,
    sharia-compliant forced child marriage and sharia-compliant FGM!
    And your paper writes we have no sharia in Australia? Get real!

    If Glenda Kwek were to explain Fascism and Marxism to your readers, would she
    hand over her keyboard and your printing press to Herrn Goebels and Comrade Stalin?

    A follow-up to put the record straight should be the least.
    If you don’t know who to ask, I’m happy to put you in touch with knowledgeable
    Australian and international sharia experts.

    Thank You

    Raoul Machal
    Melbourne

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/what-is-sharia-20110719-1hmpv.html

  2. Yes, good points, Sheik. Once the report is tabled it will be widely debated and most people will realise that the government has been turning a blind eye to polygamy, child brides and domestic violence. They will be forced to act. I was really impressed with Scipioni’s public message that there is no place for sharia in Australia. The debate ‘we had to have’ is finally growing more public.

    There is no place here for sharia, says Scipione | Leesha Mckenny | Religious Affairs | July 20, 2011
    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/there-is-no-place-here-for-sharia-says-scipione-20110719-1hnc0.html#ixzz1Sb4Qoy8F
    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/there-is-no-place-here-for-sharia-says-scipione-20110719-1hnc0.html

    1. ” They will be forced to act.”

      Not this mob. They are obsessed with ‘carbon’.

      You’d have to drag them there kickin’ and screaming.

      No. things will have to get a lot worse before we’ll see any change here. And where is the opposition in all this? Why don’t we hear something from the Abbottoir?

  3. Yes, good points, Sheik. Once the report is tabled it will be widely debated and most people will realise that the government has been turning a blind eye to polygamy, child brides and domestic violence. They will be forced to act. I was really impressed with Scipioni’s public message that there is no place for sharia in Australia. The debate ‘we had to have’ is finally growing more public.

    There is no place here for sharia, says Scipione | Leesha Mckenny | Religious Affairs | July 20, 2011
    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/there-is-no-place-here-for-sharia-says-scipione-20110719-1hnc0.html#ixzz1Sb4Qoy8F

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