OPINION: by Senator Cory BernardiNews Weekly
Australia: no place for sharia law
, September 18, 2010
I have written previously of my concerns in respect to fundamentalist Islam and Islamic law. Often this was in response to incidents that have occurred in Australia and around the world.
These events have included radical preachers of hate in mosques, Islamic extremists advocating jihad
and religious fundamentalists pushing for sharia law in Western nations.
Last week we saw another example of the dangerous hatred of those who adhere to the fundamentalist Koranic code. This time it was firebrand Sydney-born cleric Feiz Mohammad, founder of the Global Islamic Youth Centre.
Feiz is well known for his "blame the victim" stance on rape where he has been quoted as saying:
"A victim of rape every minute somewhere in the world. Why? No-one to blame but herself. She displayed her beauty to the entire world. ...
"Strapless, backless, sleeveless, nothing but satanic skirts, slit skirts, translucent blouses, miniskirts, tight jeans: all this to tease man and appeal to his carnal nature."
His web site proudly states; "His refusal to 'water down' his religion has drawn forth the critics, but he remains steadfast, believing in Allah's message and the true meaning of 'no compromise'. He believes that Islam in its true form is only a religion of peace and not violence."
Yet last week, this "holy man" in the "religion of peace" was recorded as calling for the beheading of Dutch MP Geert Wilders and justifying it under Islamic law.
According to Feiz and his followers, Wilders' crime requiring his execution was questioning the Islamisation of the Netherlands and being an outspoken critic of Islamo-fascism and the introduction of sharia law.
In his speech, Feiz asserts that Wilders has degraded Islam; yet it is hard to imagine how anyone could do more damage to the image of Islam than Feiz himself.
To be fair, Feiz's recent comments have been condemned by a number of senior Muslim scholars, including the discredited extremist and former senior Australian Mufti, Sheikh Taj el-Din al Hilali, who himself once defended rapists and compared young women to "uncovered meat".
Unlike the Islamo-fascists who conducted a worldwide riot in response to cartoons, who threaten death to critics and who endorse the burqa as a means of controlling women, I actually believe in free speech.
However, freedom of speech cannot be used as an excuse to allow extremists to incite violence, endorse terror or encourage murder. Yet somehow, Feiz and his ilk have been getting away with their hate and intolerance for far too long.
The question is why we, as individuals and as a nation, allow them to do so?
Is it because we are afraid that raising our concerns will result in the PC brigade launching epithets of racism, bigotry and Islamaphobia? Perhaps we fear the response of the extremists themselves, or are we simply so naïve that we think the same problems that have befallen other nations will never happen here?
Whatever the reason, we need to overcome our fears and speak out strongly against the rising tide of fundamentalist Islam and its adherents' demands to modify our way of life by allowing them to introduce Islamic law in this country.
Already we have sections of our Muslim community (who are supposedly more moderate than Feiz) calling for aspects of sharia law in respect to divorce, property settlement and child custody issues, to be allowed in Australia. The Gillard Labor Government has even been making provisions for legislative changes to encourage the growth of sharia-compliant finance in Australia.
While such changes may not at first glance seem to be truly significant, should they be allowed, so too would begin the process of legitimisation of fundamentalist sharia as an alternative legal system in this country.
That simply cannot be allowed to happen. Whatever the advocates of sharia may say, followers cannot simply pick and choose the parts of it that they want to follow. If followers are prepared to ignore some of the less palatable aspects of sharia, then surely they should be expected to ignore the more innocuous ones too.
Of course, if the advocates of sharia truly believe it is the true path, then the introductory changes (like concessions for sharia finance) are simply a stepping-stone to a greater embrace of this archaic system.
That is why we should not entertain any thought of introducing any aspect of sharia law into Australia. At best it is unnecessary; at worst it is a step in a direction that is incompatible with Western life and values.
Australians need to observe closely what is happening in other parts of the world lest we be lured down a path from which there is no return.Senator Cory Bernardi is the shadow parliamentary secretary assisting the leader of the federal Opposition and a Liberal senator for South Australia. This article is courtesy of his personal blog which can be found at: www.corybernardi.com