Sharia Law or Australian Law?

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Sharia Law or Australian Law?

We know what the law says about religious freedom in the home of Islam because the US State Department has helpfully produced a report called the 2011 Report on International Religious Freedom.

And it has devoted an entire section to Saudi Arabia.

And I’ve gone to the trouble of reading it.

And the most important bit is this:

“Freedom of religion is neither recognized nor protected under the law and is severely restricted in practice…The public practice of any religion other than Islam is prohibited.”

Of course, when the Saudis use the word prohibited, they mean it. So they have set up a body called the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice. Its job is to go around enforcing Sharia law. And ensuring that the only people allowed to publicly perform marriages between bearded old men and 12 year old girls are state-sanctioned imams.

Presumably, part of their daily duties is also to lock up, kill, behead and then torture to death anyone stupid enough to dress up as a piggy in the Land of the Two Holy Mosques. I just point this out because some people have still not got a handle on the finer aspects of Sharia law. But I’m sure they’ll get the hang of it soon enough.

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Bendigo Bank: It’s doing Sharia wrong.

Other than that, the US State Department’s report is a dry read.

This headline is rather more sensational: Saudi keeps ban on churches. It was printed in Victoria’s Herald Sun just under a year ago.

And, more than likely, the Equity and Diversity Bureau within the Local Community Secretariat of the Human Services Division of the Bendigo Bank printed that story out, highlighted the important bits and then faxed it to every branch manager as the new public engagement policy.

That can be the only explanation for the unAustralian decision taken by Bendigo Bank to operate an account for an Islamic group seeking to build a mosque in Bendigo while closing down the account of the local community group opposing the application.

Unfortunately for the Bendigo Bank branch in the hometown of this famous Australian financial institution, Sharia law is not the law of the land.

However, it’s clear that Bendigo Bank’s legal eagles and religious diversity commandos spend too much time boning up on the latest fatwas issued in Saudi Arabia about Sharia finance to understand this. As a result, they don’t have the slightest skerrick of a clue about the law that does apply here. So I’ll help clear up the confusion.

Commonwealth and Victorian law applies. That’s right. Dinky-di, true-blue Aussie law rules supreme on this continent, including in the township of Bendigo. That’s why such a kerfuffle was made about Ned Kelly’s antics in regional Victoria in the 19th century and the same principles apply today.

Australians aren’t too partial to bearded thugs lobbing into town and imposing their own legal systems. Although Ned Kelly is regarded as a bit of a top bloke. He’s probably the exception that proves the rule.

Just to highlight how wrong Bendigo Bank is on all of its pro-Sharia and pro-mosque predilections, I’ll quote from the Victorian Equal Opportunity Act 2010. And to be extra helpful, Bendigo Bank’s legal team can find this part starting at the bottom of page 49.

Division 4—Discrimination in the provision of goods and services and disposal of land

44 Discrimination in the provision of goods and services

(1)    A person must not discriminate against another person—

(a)   by refusing to provide goods or services to the other person; or

(b)   in the terms on which goods or services are provided to the other person; or

(c)    by subjecting the other person to any other detriment in connection with the provision of goods or services to him or her.

(2)    Subsection (1) applies whether or not the goods or services are provided for payment.

Just for the benefit of Bendigo Bank, on page 14 of the same law it also states that ‘services’ includes ‘banking services’. That’s a gotcha moment, if ever there was one.

Furthermore, the same law also states on page 18 at subsection k that political beliefs are protected from discrimination. I believe that the correct legal terminology is that political beliefs are the kth attribute of Part 2, Section 6. And when that law was given final approval, it was signed by His Excellency the Honourable Professor David de Kretser, AC. Again, just to clear up any confusion, Professor Kretser gave royal assent on behalf of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, not King Abdullah, the dude who reigns supreme in Saudi Arabia.

Anyway, you can see ‘political beliefs’ right there on page 18, all proud in their protected legal status, nestled between physical features and pregnancy.

So if Bendigo Bank was to tell the ‘Stop the Mosque’ group that they can’t keep their bank account on account of their physical features (which, just out of interest, you can see because they don’t wear burkas during the weekly bank run) it would be unlawful discrimination. Or if Bendigo Bank was to say that pregnancy status was to affect account status, it would also not be halal.

But for some reason Bendigo Bank is stupid enough to think that it can shut down the financial operations of ‘Stop the Mosque’ because of its political beliefs. These are pretty straightforward: opposition to the proposal to build a mosque in Bendigo. You can’t get a more grassroots political stoush than a local community bunfight over a development application.

This is not painting a rosy picture of a good corporate citizen. In fact, it sounds more like ‘gotcha agin’.

It doesn’t matter that this application is for a mosque. Mosques are not protected species in Australia. Last time I checked, they still needed to jump through all the hoops that applied to other development applications. And like any other mosque proposal in Australia, there are a bazillion good reasons to oppose it.

A good place to start is with the Victorian Local Government Charter, which is part of the Local Government Act 1989. It states that the purpose of councils is to provide for the peace, order and good government of the local municipality. I’m not sure how approving an application for a building that will be used by adherents of the world’s most dangerous ideological belief fits in with this. But if the fact that Islam is a violent religion doesn’t cut it, then the parking considerations and impact on local amenities are a worthwhile basis for objection as well.

Local residents are entitled to jump up and down as much as they like to campaign against this proposed mosque. And to do that, a bank account is required.

Bendigo Bank has given one to the Islamic community. And now it has taken one away from the concerned citizens. All, supposedly, in the name of values. That’s not really the truth though. It’s because Bendigo Bank has lost its Australian values and adopted those that are more at home in Saudi Arabia.

This is an open and shut case of political discrimination. It’s also proof that Bendigo Bank is ignoring Australian rule and imposing decisions that fit nicely with a different kind: Sharia law.

10 thoughts on “Sharia Law or Australian Law?”

  1. I certainly hope that this Sharia law is NEVER allowed to come to fuition in Australia. There is no need for another countries laws to be implemented into Australia or any other non-Muslim country. Britian are fools to have added it to their laws. It has however already infiltrated our food lines. The Bendigo Bank seem to have broke the Australian laws and should be broguht to task about it by the Government. Bendigo seems to need be reminded that others have values too – us Australians!

      1. Oh dear no. Couldn’t read the article as I’m not a member. But I get the drift. Let’s hope that they do the right things for its original customers.

  2. sharia law is already here! sharia law covers all aspects of a muturds life from marriage to food hence halal is part of sharia law, the marriage of the 12 year old was conducted according to sharia law.
    Every time somebody buys a halal item whether knowingly or by deceit ie no logo, they are supporting sharia law and the building of mosques, puslamic schools and of course terrorism.

    So be very careful of what you buy there are apps out there that will let you know if its halal or not, try “is it halal” (android) or you can use the website “halal choices” who have some very good reference links.

    Good luck with finding a item (apart from Dick Smith) that isn’t halal.

  3. Sheik, WTF are “sharia compliant fixed-income assets” anyway?! Interest-free loans (i.e: jizya-payment protection money “gifts”) at our expense?!

    ;-/

  4. Not sure if this answers your question. In any case, its to undermine and to replace our financial system with sharia compliant rubbish. Its the same with sharia law.

    NAB Eyes Islamic Bond Issuance Down Under

    By Caroline Henshaw

    Growing appetite for Islamic finance is spurring both large and small Australian financials to boost their offering of Sharia-compliant fixed-income assets, the head of the country’s first Islamic wealth manager said on Thursday.

    National Australia Bank Ltd., or NAB, is considering selling up to US$500 million in Islamic bonds in what would be the first issuance of Sharia-compliant debt securities in Australia, two people familiar with the deal told Dow Jones Newswires.

    The bonds would be structured to comply with Muslim law by paying a profit from the bond, rather than interest, which is banned in Islam. A spokeswoman for NAB declined to comment.

    Issuance of Sharia-compliant bonds, known as sukuk, tumbled in the wake of Dubai’s debt crisis and turmoil in global financial markets. But sales rebounded sharply to a record $32.6 billion in 2011 and issuance so far in 2012 of $10.4 billion is already more than double the same period last year, according to data from Dealogic.

    Managing Director of Islamic wealth manager Crescent Wealth, Talal Yassine, said there is “enormous pent-up demand for this kind of product” in Australia in the wake of the global financial crisis, as investors are looking for less risky investments that offer a defined income stream.

    “What NAB is seeking to do is enter that market and the likely buyers are Qatar’s [sovereign] wealth fund and Malaysian investors, and maybe from the U.S.,” Mr. Yassine said. “Maybe down the line they might [look to] someone like us but we’re not looking at NAB bonds.”

    Islamic banking assets total more than US$1 trillion worldwide while Islamic equity funds comprise around US$50 billion, according to data from Ernst & Young. Crescent estimates the investable universe for Islamic funds in Australia is worth between US$4 billion and US$8 billion, with potential to grow to between US$7 billion and US$13 billion by 2019.

    Crescent will launch its own Islamic cash management fund in the next six weeks in partnership with HSBC, in a bid to tap the growing appetite for fixed-interest products in the Muslim community. HSBC will use the money to buy assets, such as commodities, and the profits from that will be used to pay investors in the fund a fixed return of 3.45% a year.

    “I’m getting two to three calls a week from organizations asking: ‘Have you launched it yet?’” Mr. Yassine said. “We’re focused on wholesale investors but we’ve also got people in the community looking at it from a retail perspective.”

    The product is one of four Sharia-compliant products Crescent will have on offer by the end of 2012, which include its equities fund and Thomson Reuters-backed Islamic index, both launched last year, and its planned superannuation offering, which will be made public later this year. Over the past six months, the equities fund has returned 3.9%, outperforming its benchmark, the ASX 300, by 0.4%.

    Mr. Yassine said he expects Crescent’s products to appeal to investors far beyond Australia’s Islamic community. Of the $3.8 billion under management by Crescent’s U.S.-based partner, Saturna Capital, he estimates $9 out of every $10 comes from outside the Muslim community, a ratio he believes can be replicated Down Under.

    “It’s about not investing in morally-hazardous businesses, and that’s an idea all Australians can invest in,” Mr. Yassine said.

  5. Re: “The bonds would be structured to comply with Muslim law by paying a profit from the bond, rather than interest, which is banned in Islam. A spokeswoman for NAB declined to comment.”

    Profit is assessed after real-world economic activity, while interest is agreed on before the activity actually takes place (if ever).

    In The Hedaya (the most official canon of Haneefite sharia law, upon which the entire legal code of the ottoman Empire was based) declares in Volume II, Book 16, chapter 8, P#501, in their usual confused, ignorant, and superstitious way, concerning “Ribba” (Usury) aka selling money:

    FIRST, the prophet has said, “There is no usury between a MUSSULMAN and a hostile infidel, in a foreign land.”** — SECONDLY, the property of a hostile infidel, being free to the Mussulmans, it follows that it is lawful to take it by whatever mode may be possible, provided there be no deceit used.

    I.E: “MOSLEMS ARE ALLOWED TO CHARGE INTEREST IN HOSTILE INFIDEL LANDS, BECAUSE IT’S LEGAL TO FREELY TAKE AN INFIDEL’S PROPERTY, BY ANY AND ALL MEANS POSSIBLE ANYWAY.” AND ALL NON-MUSLIM LANDS ARE CONSIDERED “HOSTILE” TO MUSLIM INVASIONS, UNTIL THEY HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFULLY INVADED AND SO RENDERED “NON-HOSTILE” (PACIFIED)!

    ;-(

    So, these “Sharia-compliant bonds, known as sukuk, ” where ” there is “enormous pent-up demand for this kind of product” in Australia in the wake of the global financial crisis, as investors are looking for less risky investments that offer a defined income stream” and which are obviously susceptible to market forces, would also seem to be a form of gambling in which the interest rates vary – and as such, as not really ‘legal’ under sharia’s most basic tenets either. And the rest of their “financial products” are simply obvious idolatry as well; this is all an obvious banksters’ scam, even on the muslims themselves! JIHAD!

    😉

    1. Yes, Muslims are allowed to take interest from infidels, while they piss and moan when it comes to paying it. Too funny that all this BS doesn’t apply in the Emirates, where Citibank and HSBC are doing most of their business. Second, there are multiple fartwas out that Muslims can benefit from interest on their bank accounts, as long as infidels pay it. Just not the other way around.

    2. I’m concerned they will rip us off. Its another big hook into Australia. We wouldn’t be able to say no them about anything at this rate.

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