7 Mar 2008

Australian view of Shariah Law

Muslims who want to live under Islamic Shariah law were told yesterday to get out of Australia as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks.

A day after a group of mainstream Muslim leaders pledged loyalty to Australia at a special meeting with Prime Minister John Howard, he and his ministers made it clear that extremists would face a crackdown.

Treasurer Peter Costello, seen as heir apparent to Howard, hinted that some radical clerics could be asked to leave the country if they did not accept that Australia was a secular state and its laws were made by parliament.

“If those are not your values, if you want a country which has Shariah law or a theocratic state, then Australia is not for you,” he said on national television.

“I’d be saying to clerics who are teaching that there are two laws governing people in Australia, one the Australian law and another the Islamic law, that that is false.

“If you can’t agree with parliamentary law, independent courts, democracy, and would prefer Shariah law and have the opportunity to go to another country which practices it, perhaps, then, that’s a better option,” Costello said.

Asked whether he meant radical clerics would be forced to leave, he said those with dual citizenship could possibly be asked move to the other country.

Education Minister Brendan Nelson later told reporters that Muslims who did not want to accept local values should “clear off”.

“Basically, people who don’t want to be Australians, and they don’t want to live by Australian values and understand them, well then they can basically clear off,” he said.

Muslim schools will have to denounce terrorism as part of an effort to stamp out homegrown extremism under measures announced after Howard’s meeting with 14 Islamic leaders Tuesday.

Extract from a newspaper article found here, following the bombing in London a few years ago.

Reminds me of the support Shariah law gets in the UK. Talk about making your bed and having to lie on it.

I wonder if Australia followed up on it's fighting words though.