"Legal pluralism," the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils called it. They may win a prize for Euphemism of the Year, but their agenda is obvious: achieving a foot in the proverbial door for the introduction of "just a little" Sharia ("Just a little bit of peril!"), legitimizing the law in principle and providing the basis for continued expansion in the name of "tolerance" and "pluralism."
"What could be the harm in so little," they will ask, and accuse critics of alarmism and, of course, Islamophobia. Failing to submit to this proposal could be portrayed as a means of "alienating" Muslim "youth" and a source of potential "radicalization."
But it appears for the moment that this government has moved to stop this disaster before it can start. Not that we've heard the last of it, by far. "Govt says no to sharia law," from the Australian Associated Press, May 17 (thanks to all who sent this in):
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.
You can say that again.
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."
Some of them migrate with the intention of coexisting while they have to, but with the aspiration of introducing an altogether different system.