Cory Bernardi: "Sharia or Islamic law is incompatible with Australia's Western values"

No Sharia Banking in Australia!

Michael Owen/The Australian (h/t Mullah)

LIBERAL senator Cory Bernardi is looking for partyroom support to maintain barriers on sharia-compliant financial products.

The aim is to stop any moves to expand Islamic banking in Australia.

Senator Bernardi last night sent a background brief to his Liberal Party colleagues and said he had “already received a great deal of positive feedback”.

“Sharia or Islamic law is incompatible with Australia’s Western values,” the South Australian right-wing senator said.

“I want to ensure the Liberal Party is opposed to the government’s proposal to introduce any form of sharia-law banking into Australia.”

Senator Bernardi said Australian tax officials, supported by the Gillard government, were planning to ease barriers to sharia-compliant financial products to tap into the Islamic finance industry’s $1 trillion in assets.

“We will have to consider what the government finally brings forward into parliament and consider that on its merits,” Senator Bernardi said yesterday.

“I want people to be as informed as they can be in the hope we resist any such moves.”

In the note sent to his Liberal parliamentary members, Senator Bernardi points out a government review into ensuring there was a “level playing field” was supported in principle by Labor.

“I would contend that we already have a level playing field in this country and we shouldn’t be adopting those laws to appease sharia in any form,” Senator Bernardi said.

“This is an issue I am sure a great many Australians feel very strongly about.”

Discussions are slated this month, organised by the national taxation board, in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne about how to ensure Islamic finance transactions are treated the same as equivalent non-Islamic deals.

Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten did not respond to questions from The Australian last night. But last month he said Islamic finance would provide Australia with access to offshore capital.

A small number of companies offer Islamic financing in Australia, such as the Muslim Community Co-operative Australia in Melbourne and Islamic Co-operative Finance Australia.

Asian Finance Bank, an arm of Qatar Islamic Bank, is advising the NSW government on Islamic financial services.

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2 thoughts on “Cory Bernardi: "Sharia or Islamic law is incompatible with Australia's Western values"”

  1. Who will the Aust Govt & ATO choose to serve – God or Mammon?

    Islamic banking debate ‘playing on emotion’
    By Alexandra Kirk

    (nothing to get emotional about – go back to sleep)

    [The chairman of the Federal Government’s independent adviser on tax laws, Dick Warburton, says people are over-reacting in the debate on Islamic banking.]

    * The advisers are always “independent”, so trust them.

    [But Board of Taxation chairman Mr Warburton says Senator Bernardi has over-reacted.

    He is instead urging people to consider the matter on its face value rather than responding emotionally.]

    * If we don’t do it, we’ll be left behind!

    [Mr Warburton says Australia will be left out of the financial world if it does not try to accommodate Islamic banking.]

    * Who is “Dick Warburton”?

    [Chairman – Richard F E (Dick) Warburton AO

    Mr Warburton is currently Chairman of Tandou Ltd and Magellan Flagship Fund Ltd and a director of Citigroup Ltd. He is Chairman of the LEK Advisory Board and of the Commonwealth Studies Conference. Mr Warburton is a former Board Member of the Reserve Bank of Australia, former Chairman of the NSW Olympic Business Roundtable, a past National President of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and a former Chairman of Caltex Australia Ltd and former Chairman and CEO of Du Pont Australia and New Zealand.

    Mr Warburton has been Chairman of the Board since its inception in September 2000.]

    * A director of Citigroup? Would Citigroup be caught up in sharia?

    (To Be Continued)

  2. Would Citigroup be caught up in sharia?

    Well, yes, according to its web site.

    “Citi Islamic Investment Bank E. C. (“CIIB”) was incorporated in July 1996 in Bahrain, as a 100% owned subsidiary of Citicorp Banking Corporation. CIIB operates as the dedicated Islamic Banking vehicle of Citi …”

    “The Bank’s Sharia Board comprises eminent Sharia scholars of international repute that bring the best Sharia expertise to CIIB; the Sharia Board members are:

    – Dr.Nazih Hammad (President)
    – Dr.Mohammed Eid Elgari
    – Sheikh Nizam M. Yaquby ”

    * Does Dick Warburton have a vested interest in pushing for sharia changes to Aust’s tax system? Maybe not, but Citigroup certainly seems to, through its Citi Islamic Investment Bank “vehicle”.

    (nothing to worry about – go back to sleep)

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