Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Whoda Thunk It?

Blunt and to the point:
Muslims who want Islamic law told to leave Australia

SYDNEY (AFP) - Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law should get out of Australia, a senior government minister has said, hinting that some radical clerics might be asked to leave.

Australia was a secular state and its laws were made by parliament, Treasurer Peter Costello told national television late Tuesday.

"If those are not your values, if you want a country which has Sharia law or a theocratic state, then Australia is not for you," said Costello, who is seen as heir-apparent to Prime Minister John Howard.

"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.

"There's only one law in Australia -- it's the law that's made by the parliament of Australia and enforced by our courts. There is no second law.

"If you can't agree with parliamentary law, independent courts, democracy, and would prefer Sharia 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 replied: "Where a person has dual citizenship, it might be possible to ask them to exercise that other citizenship. That might be a live possibility."


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