21 May 2011

Avoid the hysteria but reject sharia

.... Given that we tolerate and even celebrate multiculturalism in its various practical forms, should we not also extend pluralism to the law?

This is the proposition put forward by the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils.

In its widely reported submission to a parliamentary inquiry into multiculturalism, AFIC has called for Australians to consider accommodating sharia, or Islamic law, as part of a model of legal pluralism. Since Islamic law is part of a Muslim's culture, denying its recognition involves an injustice that goes against "modern standards of citizenship and rights" and "any profession of multiculturalism".

I believe these claims should be rejected. But before I come to my reasons, a preliminary point: we should maintain a sense of proportion and avoid hysteria.

.... These are the obvious and grave risks of recognising sharia as part of our law. I would imagine most Australian Muslims would agree with this view. Legal pluralism would exacerbate the danger of them becoming second-class citizens. [The Australian] Read more [via National Secular Society]