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Muslims and Islamophobia ( 16 May 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Creeping Sharia Again

By Bill Muehlenberg


The front page of today’s Australian has a very revealing – if not alarming – article. And the most revealing phrase came in its first sentence: “The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, in a submission to a parliamentary inquiry into the government’s new multiculturalism policy, argues that Muslims should enjoy ‘legal pluralism’.”

Legal pluralism. Hey that sounds kinda neat. But wait a minute. What they are really calling for is a plurality of legal systems. Or in this case, at least two: Western (Australian) law, but also Islamic law, or sharia. They are saying that they should be governed with their own laws, and not Australian law. Sure, here they only speak of small beginnings, eg., family law, divorce law, and so on.

But rest assured that things will not stop there. Indeed, creeping sharia has been taking place in other Western nations, and what has come about as a result has not been very pretty. Indeed, some of these nations are now reversing their policies, and clawing back creeping sharia. England is a clear case in point.

No better summary and commentary on this can be found than in Patrick Sookhdeo’s excellent new booklet, Slippery Slope: The Islamisation of the UK. This brief (50-page) booklet examines how Islam has managed to fundamentally change the UK, with a slow but steady process of Islamification.

He examines the obvious examples of creeping sharia, such as halal foods and Islamic financing, but then moves on to cover other cases, such as education. Muslims have objected to the way the state school system is run, with the result that the state has caved in with one major capitulation after another.

Says Sookhdeo, “Numerous concessions have been made in response to Muslim demands. At state schools Islam is often given more prominence and respect than other faiths. Schools are encouraged to provide halal food for their Muslim pupils, as well as prayer facilities and Muslim religious instruction. They also allow Islamic dress and gender segregation in physical exercises. The character of the state education system is gradually changing to give privileged status to Muslim pupils and their religion.”

Students at one Catholic High School were forced by teachers to wear Islamic clothing as part of a school trip. Those who did not were punished for truancy. In British universities it has been found that the largest financial contributions from overseas come from Arabic and Islamic sources.

During the past decade around 30 Muslim graduates from British universities have been found guilty of Islamist terrorism. This includes the man behind the 2002 Bali bombing which killed over 200 people. Indeed, higher education in the UK has become a hotbed for Islamist radicalism.

Sookhdeo provides page after page of other examples of this. And he points out that all this has not happened by accident. Islamists have long recognised the means by which a society becomes Islamised. And they go back to the life and example of Muhammad to promote this. As the booklet reminds us, a three-stage process is underway in Western nations.

First is the weakness stage, in which Islam is proclaimed in an unbelieving, infidel society. Second is the migration stage, where Muslim numbers are built up, and Muslim strength is consolidated. Third is the jihad stage, where the existing safe haven is used as a launching point to further expand their grip on a nation.

The aim is to establish Islamist political domination, resulting in an ideal Islamic state. The Islamists believe that all lands belong to Allah anyway, and the promotion of sharia law is seen as a means to cleanse the pagan lands so that the ideal Islamic state can be realised.

Islamists have made quite clear their goals, and Sookhdeo cites a number of these. For example, Egyptian Muslim preacher ‘Amr Khalid said his back in 2008: “The Muslims keep having children, while the Europeans do not – this means that within 20 years the Muslims will be the majority.”

And many non-Muslims agree. Middle East expert Bernard Lewis put it this way: “Current trends will have a Moslem majority by the end of the 21st century at the latest…. Europe will be part of the Arabic West.” The question does not seem to be if but when.

The Islamist agenda has been until recently aided and abetted by weak-willed and fuzzy thinking politicians and policy experts. Sookhdeo notes how the British policy of integration was altered in the 1960s. Instead of expecting the incoming minorities to fit in with and accept the majority culture, values and consensus, they were to be accepted as is, and were to be allowed to develop almost in parallel tracks.

“Acceptance can be compared to a stew-pot, in which various ingredients are mixed in a plentiful sauce that links them together, but where they retain some of their distinctive characteristics.” But this led to the tossed salad, in which pluralism began to replace integration.

And that in turn led to the fruit bowl, in which each group was encouraged to maintain its own identity. This concept of multiculturalism reigned supreme for over two decades, but the new conservative Government under David Cameron has now proclaimed multiculturalism to be a failure.

It has recognised that multiculturalism simply encouraged Muslims to see Islam as their main identity instead of their country. Says Sookhdeo, “They have a nominal allegiance to the British nation: their official nationality is British and they carry British passports. But they feel little or no responsibility towards the UK; their primary loyalty and duties are to their religion.”

Sookhdeo continues, “So the Islamic creed (the shahada) is the basis of their worldview; the Islamic law (the sharia) is the content of their lifestyle; and the Islamic ‘nation’ (the umma) is the object of their allegiance. In this way their religion has become an instrument of significant social change.”

This policy in fact encouraged segregation and made integration almost impossible. Deep divisions, and not unity, have been the result. And we are seeing all this now played out in Australia. Their call for “legal pluralism” should be sending alarm bells ringing all over the nation.

This is not a recipe for assimilation and unity. Quite the contrary, this is a call for a two-tiered legal system – to begin with – and the complete division of a nation. No nation can long exist with such separatist leanings and goals. Either guests who come here accept the values and customs of this land, or they should stay back where they came from.

All they are doing is leaving one sharia-led tyranny, and seeking to establish another one in a democratic nation. That amounts to destabilisation and eventually treason. Britain has rightly turned its back on the failed policy of multiculturalism, and Australia, if it is to survive, must do the same.

Otherwise we will not end up with genuine “legal pluralism” but with only one legal system: sharia law. And it will lead to a new segregation, with Westerners who do not embrace the totalist Islamist agenda being turned into second class citizens, or dhimmis.

We must choose in which direction this nation will proceed. And we must decide soon. Because freedom and political Islam cannot co-exist.

Source: The Australian




Muslims to push for sharia

Patricia Karvelas

From: The Australian

 May 17, 2011 THE nation's peak Muslim group is using the Gillard government's re-embracing of multiculturalism to push for the introduction of sharia in Australia, but it says it would be a more moderate variety of Islamic law that fits with Australian values.

The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, in a submission to a parliamentary inquiry into the government's new multiculturalism policy, argues that Muslims should enjoy "legal pluralism".

In an interview with The Australian, the organisation's president, Ikebal Adam Patel, who wrote the submission, nominated family law and specifically divorce as an area where moderate interpretations of sharia could co-exist within the Australian legal system.

In the submission, the AFIC acknowledges some Muslims believe Islamic law is immutable, regardless of history, time, culture and location.

"They claim that Muslims may change, but Islam will not," it says.

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The AFIC argues this is not the case and sharia can be applied in a way that fits in to Australia and is not extreme.

"This means most of the regulations in Islamic law may be amended, changed, altered, and adapted to social change.

"Therefore, Muslims Australia-AFIC takes the position that Islamic law is changeable according to the requirements of different places and times, and therefore suits the values shared by Australian people," the submission says.

A hardline reading of sharia confers unilateral divorce rights on men, while women who initiate divorce are stripped of their property and financial entitlements.

A more moderate interpretation and common practice in Islamic countries is to recognise divorce by mutual consent.

In the interview, Mr Patel said: "I'm saying that instead of letting the extremists within Islam take over the agenda, we are saying there is a path whereby it will work for all the communities in a moderate way.

"It is important for someone who is Muslim or a practising Jew that aspects of our religion which can be incorporated within the greater legal system are introduced.

"This is about personal issues about family, and won't affect any other Australian," he said.

"It's about a system that does not impinge on the rights of any other Australian."

In its submission to the inquiry, the AFIC says criticisms of sharia as being biased against women and treating them as second-class citizens are wrong.

"It is important for Muslims to seriously consider this criticism," the submission says.

"But it is also important for the Australian government to respect the rights of Muslim women who want to keep and maintain the way they dress, eat and interact with others, as long as such behaviour does not inflict harm to others.

"Muslims in Australia should accept the Australian values, and Australia should provide a 'public sphere' for Muslims to practise their belief. It takes two to tango.

"This approach demands a compromise from Islam, which should be open to other values, and also to make a similar demand of Australia.

"It is not only Australian Muslims who should reconcile these identities, but all Australians."

Mr Patel says the AFIC, as the peak body of Islamic organisations in Australia, "strongly supports that multiculturalism should lead to legal pluralism . . . and twin tolerations".

The submission cites regulations governing Islamic finance and halal certification in Australia as examples of how legal pluralism can work.

British law since 1996 has allowed for alternative dispute resolution through sharia tribunals, the rulings of which are enforceable in county courts and the High Court.

The submission calls on the inquiry members to consider "hard questions" from Muslim communities.

"Muslims are required to have social integration with the majority of people in Australia: what does this really mean? Should Muslims remove the hijab, dress like others, drink alcohol and go to the pub to demonstrate they have actually integrated?"

In most Western countries, the submission notes, the idea of an "Islamic family tribunal or arbitration is likely to fuel the debate on radicalism and liberalism".

"But is it true that Australia will never consider Islamic law?" it asks.

"It seems that in two areas, namely Islamic finance and halal food, the Australian government has been actively involved.

"So although the Attorney-General ruled out introducing Islamic law, or sharia, at the same time Australian financial institutions are encouraged to do much more to attract Muslim business by developing innovative products which comply with Islamic law.

"Apart from the economic motive, how can we reconcile the conflicting statement and fact?"

Source: The Australian