Govt says no to sharia law
11:31 AEST Tue May 17 2011
The federal government has quickly moved to block any calls for sharia law in Australia.
In its submission to the parliamentary inquiry into the government’s new multiculturalism policy, The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils has called for Muslims to be granted “legal pluralism.”
Attorney-General Robert McClelland stomped on the request. “There is no place for sharia law in Australian society and the government strongly rejects any proposal for its introduction,” Mr McClelland told AAP.
Sharia has faced repeated criticism. It is again in the headlines following an Iranian court’s decision to delay a planned “eye-for-an-eye” act of justice against a man who threw acid at a woman’s face because she refused his marriage proposal.
“As our citizenship pledge makes clear, coming to Australia means obeying Australian laws and upholding Australian values,” Mr McClelland said. “Australia’s brand of multiculturalism promotes integration. If there is any inconsistency between cultural values and the rule of law then Australian law wins out.”
Mr McClelland is keen to assert Australia’s position as a “stable democracy” where “rule of law” underpins society. “People who migrate to Australia do so because of the fact that we have a free, open, and tolerant society where men and woman are equal before the law irrespective of race, religious, or cultural background.”