Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Economy

Jacqui Lambie: Invective and white noise …

Fairfax: Sharia 101: a user’s guide for Jacqui Lambie

Fairfax: Yassmin Abdel-Magied says Jacqui Lambie Sharia law comments ‘the last straw’

Senator Jacqui Lambie’s preoccupation with “Sharia law” – whatever it is she conceives it to be – is embarrassing.

It is also, in my opinion, a misuse of her time as a senator in the Australian Parliament, given she is paid from the public purse. Following her appearance on the ABC television program Q and A this week, the Senator subsequently issued numerous tweets in an apparent attempt to consolidate her obviously confused position on the “Sharia” question.

Lambie also made available on her Twitter feed a video which asks the question (in what appears to be capitalized Calibri font): WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT SHARIA LAW? In the video, Senator Lambie then proceeds to elucidate, in “six quick obvious points,” all that she fails to understand about what Sharia Law is, and is not.

What is particularly ironic is that her first point: “Sharia law is not Australian law,” pretty-well makes redundant her remaining unconscionable misrepresentations regarding Sharia Law and how it might be of any relevance to Australia (or to anybody else, for that matter). Senator Lambie’s preoccupation is embarrassing because the (obvious) import of her first point – the only sensible thing uttered by her in the presentation – seems to be lost on her.

In simple terms, Australian law might be most easily understood as any law which is validly enacted or otherwise given authority by one of the several parliaments of Australia’s commonwealth, its states or territories. The mechanism which makes available that system of laws and law-making is the Australian Constitution. Taken together, the laws so enacted regulate the conduct of Australians, and that of anybody who is otherwise subject to Australian Commonwealth and/or state and territory jurisdictions, and it does so in particular ways.

An obvious feature of our system of law is that people subject to an Australian jurisdiction are free to conduct their lives in any manner they choose, unless such conduct is somehow prohibited or otherwise regulated by the law. So far as I understand it, “Sharia law” is not regulated by Australian law; that is (and as Senator Lambie helpfully points out), Sharia law is not, in any way, Australian law or the subject of Australian law.

What that means, Senator Lambie, is that Sharia “law” falls within that notional area comprising people’s private lives. It is something people are free to engage in, or not, at their will, subject to Australian law.

Really, that should be all there is to say on the matter.

However, there are significant numbers of people in Australia – including a number of parliamentarians – who don’t appear to be able to join the dots (and who, reportedly, also don’t like being told that there are things they appear not to understand).

As periodically happens on social media following an event such as this week’s Q and A program, all manner of persons came out of the woodwork to have their two bobs’ worth. And as is always the case in this case, that two bob comprised, in large part, ill-informed people sticking their respective noses into other people’s private lives. On the comments thread of an online article for The Australian, “Helen” raged about her various perceptions of Sharia law, including:

“Muslim women cannot opt out of Islam and we have Sharia “courts” where an Imam can tell a women (sic) she is no longer married if her husband says ‘I divorce you three times’ (sic)…no recourse, no money…out on the street!”

And this:

“What I do know is that under the Cairo Agreement signed by all 57 Islamic Countries and applicable to ALL Muslims around the world, ‘Sharia SUPERSEDES all other Laws including UN Law!”

So, where to begin?

Well, it’s worth noting (to begin with), that these two comments are characteristic of a large amount of the ill-informed and unsophisticated prejudice passing as expressions of concern about Sharia law in Australia. And they make no substantive contribution to the national discussion regarding Muslims in Australia; they do little more than flood the interwebs with invective and white noise.

The first comment, regarding matrimonial matters, has nothing to do with Australian law. The jurisdiction of the Family Court of Australia administers questions of marriage and divorce pursuant to the Family Law Act 1975. That reality is displaced or otherwise modified not-at-all by the practices of some people of the Muslim faith, which practices might involve imams and Sharia “courts” and chanting “I divorce you.” Indeed, those practices are things which go on the in the private lives of the people concerned – and those are things that are none of Helen’s business. But try telling Helen that (or Senator Lambie, for that matter).

People in Australia are entirely free to resolve their matrimonial issues (to the extent that is possible) without initiating proceedings in the Family Court, if they so choose, so long as they don’t break the law in the process. If any person – including a person of the Muslim faith – feels aggrieved following a failed attempt to resolve their matrimonial issue privately, then they are free to use the laws available to them to resolve the matter – their access to Australian law remains available to them.

If a person of the Muslim faith manages to resolve their matrimonial matter by resort to something they call a Sharia “court,” thereby avoiding the need to add their matter to the Family Court’s already overburdened lists, then that is a private matter for them. If a Muslim husband chooses to chant three times “I divorce you,” it may mean a whole lot to him and it may also mean a whole lot to his wife.

Crucially, however, under Australian law, it is meaningless. The man and his wife have done nothing more than engage in some private ritual, as they are free to do. The fact that one or the other party, or both, may have acted in accordance with the directives of an imam is their business. The fact that some people of the Muslim faith attempt to resolve their matrimonial issues by resort to a Sharia “court” is a “fact” in their minds only. So far as Australian law is concerned, resort to a Sharia “court” is nothing more than something people are free to do in their private lives because it is nothing that in any way involves the law. It is certainly nothing that supplants or displaces or modifies the law, in any way, shape or form.

The second comment is fanciful, and wrong. Without getting too technical, the so-called “Cairo Agreement” – formally known as the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam (CDHRI) is an instrument which was adopted in Cairo, Egypt, on 5 August 1990. It is widely acknowledged to be an Islamic response to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) adopted under the auspices of the United Nations in 1948.

Put simply, Australia is not a signatory to the CDHRI (it is a signatory to the UDHR). As Australia is not a signatory to the “Cairo Agreement,” the necessary steps for it to be enshrined in Australian law: ratification and enactment in legislation by the Australian parliament, cannot be fulfilled. So much being so, the application of Australian law to Muslims who are subject to Australia’s jurisdiction is affected in no way whatsoever by the CDHRI. It is simply of no effect in this country.

The remainder of the “quick obvious points” made by Senator Lambie in her video reveal a crying need for much greater thought on the matters concerned (by her and her advisors) and much more careful articulation. They are generally absurd. I am inclined to say they are almost humorous, as in farce – except for the fact of Senator Lambie’s important role in the making and reviewing of laws in this country.

Nonetheless, I can’t but help point out some quick obvious points about her quick obvious points:

. “Support for Sharia is an obvious sign of radicalization” (I guess that makes me radicalized)

. “Sharia law is undemocratic” (as are the secular rules I apply to others in my own house)

. “Sharia law imposes the death penalty on gay people just for being gay” (not in Australia it doesn’t)

. “Sharia law imposes the death penalty on women who aren’t faithful to their husbands” (see above)

. “Sharia law … is religious, civil and criminal law all rolled into one code” (although not so-rolled by the Australian parliament)

. “It has no separation of powers” (huh?)

. “Sharia law is nothing more than an anti-democratic cancer that doesn’t belong in a free society”

What does not belong in a free society is Senator Lambie’s proposal for what a free society should look like in Australia.

A free society does not give licence to interfere in the private lives of others for no better reason than the fact that they belong to a particular religion. That is Nazism by any other name. The commitment to the freedom of any individual from interference in his or her private life by that individual’s neighbours, or by the state, is a long-recognized tenet of liberal-democracy.

In the closely-regulated – and, now, monitored – world we moderns inhabit, that precious private space is already severely compromised. Senator Lambie proposes to significantly degrade that remaining private space where it happens to belong to a Muslim who is domiciled, whether temporarily or permanently, in Australia.

Senator Lambie’s claim that there is somehow a link between the private and extra-legal administration of young Muslim couples’ matrimonial arrangements (for example) and matters of national security is, quite frankly, breathtakingly naïve.

Her lack of perspective and poorly-camouflaged bigotry contributes absolutely nothing to the free society she claims to support for Australia.

*Phil Patterson is an Australian lawyer who lives in Hobart. He practiced predominantly as a commercial litigator, and, for several years prior to that, from not long after the 9/11 attacks, as a counter-terrorism lawyer for the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department. He is currently a PhD researcher at the University of Melbourne. His thesis was inspired by his time in Canberra. It is entitled: “Virtue and the ‘Three Monkey Defence’: Regulating Ethical Conduct in the Australian Public Service.”

Fairfax: Sharia 101: a user’s guide for Jacqui Lambie

Fairfax: Yassmin Abdel-Magied says Jacqui Lambie Sharia law comments ‘the last straw’

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]
47 Comments

47 Comments

  1. Leonard Colquhoun

    February 28, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    Interesting point pondered in #44, “I wonder which is worse”.

    There is a mix of cultural heritage & values and institutional & personal attitudes at play here, and there would be strong similarities to some like situations and also distinct differences, too.

    In the final analysis, our (secular) laws, rules and regulations will and ought decide matters, regardless of all other factors.

  2. Leonard Colquhoun

    February 28, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    The situation cited in Comment 44 about “the Victorian suburban Preston mosque [being] rocked by vicious infighting amid claims of missing millions of dollars” may be just another sad but entirely predictable example of what can happen in any group of people linked by any sort of shared activity, vision or circumstance.

    Golly, gosh, for Gaia’s sake, even The Greens have had such situations!

    Once again, the price of probity is that age-old eternal vigilance.

  3. Robin Charles Halton

    February 28, 2017 at 12:51 am

    One only has to read in the Age newspaper how the Victorian suburban Preston mosque is rocked by vicious infighting amid claims of missing millions of dollars.

  4. Lynne Newington

    February 23, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    Dickie….Thats interesting I can understand the feeling connecting to the Holocaust…..
    My sensitive daughter would become upset when I brushed her long beautiful hair beside the open fire then cleaning the brush before I got the connection….

  5. Dickie

    February 23, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    #40 Lynne, Israel is allegedly the most vegan country in the world per capita. This interest was spawned predominantly by the importation and abuse of Australian cattle.

    https://theculturetrip.com/middle-east/israel/articles/israel-s-booming-vegan-culture/

    Australia, the cruelty capital of the western world, is the international pimp for animal abusers and Jacqui Lambie loves it.

  6. Simon Warriner

    February 22, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    re 37, had you done that, Leonard, I would have said nothing at all, never mind resorting to caps.

    You did not though, and thus it was, caps or not.

  7. Lynne Newington

    February 22, 2017 at 10:56 pm

    Dickie. The 2015 incident was one I alluded too, and in response to the comment referred too, I stated Australia’s record wasn’t squeaky clean either which was fair enough.
    And like Australia, animal lovers abound and their rights are always under the microscope.
    I thought the suggestion on the relevant article [I can’t locate] to become vegetarians was off the mark in relation to Israel.

  8. Dickie

    February 22, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    In 2015, for the third year in a row, some 10,000 Israelis participated in an animal rights’ march in Tel Aviv . Their outrage was further aggravated when a dog shelter in Sakhnin “was burned down by evil people.” Sakhnin is predominantly an Arab region of Israel. Around 21% of Israel’s population are Arabs (roughly 1.9 million.) http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.678801

  9. Dickie

    February 22, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    #35 Lynne, I believe you have inadvertently alluded to previous violations in Israel. The violations (at least on the public record) occurred in 2012, 2013 and 2015. The violation I provided occurred in January this year. I am not aware that the facility has been shut down – either voluntarily by Israel or at Australia’s request. Can you provide a link to support your assertion? http://www.animalsaustralia.org/investigations/live-export/
    In January this year Barnaby Joyce’s department alluded to the incident and then set about white-washing the atrocity – no action taken. http://www.agriculture.gov.au/export/controlled-goods/live-animals/livestock/regulatory-framework/compliance-investigations/investigations-regulatory-compliance
    cont …

  10. Leonard Colquhoun

    February 22, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    Re 32’s “No nation based on these principles, including ours, could ever accept an apartheid-style citizen separation”: maybe the YELLING would’ve been toned down had I written “should’ for “could”.

  11. Lynne Newington

    February 21, 2017 at 9:14 am

    Simon, I’m sure it makes no difference what country it is animals won’t get loaded onto trucks …….http://www.aussieabattoirs.com/slaughterhouses/gretna/videos

  12. Lynne Newington

    February 21, 2017 at 9:04 am

    Dickie totally unacceptable and immediately shut down when it came to the attention of Israeli authorities. There were also similiar issues in Tasmania not that long ago…….http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-15/rspca-calls-for-tasmanian-abattoir-to-close-over-cruelty-claims/7935546

  13. Simon Warriner

    February 21, 2017 at 7:08 am

    Blind calves won’t even get loaded onto the bloody truck, because the truck drivers know the processor will not accept them, ffs!

  14. Dickie

    February 20, 2017 at 10:21 pm

    Thanks for the link Lynne. There can be little doubt that Jews have for centuries been substantially over-represented in many fields of learning and accomplishments. Jews are the recipients of a large number of Nobel Prizes, in spite of discrimination, frequent persecution, and the Holocaust. Yet Jews (and Muslims) adhere to the religious superstition that the pig is the vilest of all animals. In fact scientists have concluded that pigs wallow in mud mainly for cooling, sunburn protection and the removal of ecto-parasites. Pigs in my opinion are much smarter than politicians, rabbis or mullahs.

    The double standards in pig persecution can be witnessed in the major feed contaminants that are fed to livestock for human consumption in Israel. Reading from the peer-reviewed literature, food animals are fed chicken litter (chicken poop) and animal carcass despite the history of mad cow disease and despite the mass deaths of livestock from botulism in Israel: http://www.ijvm.org.il/sites/default/files/barel.pdf

    The rabbis and mullahs of Israel are breathless in their deceit and gross dishonesty when sick, blind and miserable Australian calves, appallingly and shockingly sinking in swamps of urine and faeces, are force-fed to consumers as kosher and halal: https://www.facebook.com/glass.walls.israel/videos/vb.356859544473040/717731365052521/?type=2&theater;

  15. Simon Warriner

    February 20, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    re 31, Sorry Leonard, but I call BULLSHIT! on this claim of yours:

    “No nation based on these principles, including ours, could ever accept an apartheid-style citizen separation”

    What the hell was that 67 referendum about other than ending an apartheid regime against the aborigines that had been going on since white settlement?

    to whit:

    The 1967 Referendum was a landmark achievement for Indigenous Australians. Following decades of Indigenous and non-Indigenous activism, over 90% of all Australians voted in favour of amending two sections of the Australian Constitution:

    Section 51 (xxvi)

    The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to:

    …The people of any race, other than the aboriginal people in any State, for whom it is necessary to make special laws.

    Section 127

    In reckoning the numbers of the people of the Commonwealth, or of a State or other part of the Commonwealth, aboriginal natives should not be counted.

    According to political historian, Scott Bennett, these sections were originally included in the Constitution because of the widely held beliefs that:

    Aboriginal people were ‘dying out’ and, hence, would soon cease to be a factor in questions of representation.
    Indigenous people were not intellectually worthy of a place in the political system. A Tasmanian Member of Parliament (MP) dismissed the need to include indigenous people in a national census: “There is no scientific evidence that he is a human being at all (1)” (2)

    from here: http://www.australianstogether.org.au/stories/detail/the-1967-referendum

  16. Leonard Colquhoun

    February 20, 2017 at 10:40 am

    There seems to some opinionising that we don’t have a ‘real’ democracy, and that some other (ideologically-based) systems would be better. Here is a checklist for assessing it:

    “The Australian democracy has at its heart, the following core defining values:
    · freedom of election and being elected;
    · freedom of assembly and political participation;
    · freedom of speech, expression and religious belief;
    · rule of law; and
    · other basic human rights.”

    Fuller details at – http://moadoph.gov.au/democracy/australian-democracy/ .

    Needless to say – but for some it has to be repeated over and over again – such aspirational statements do not guarantee practical achievement. The key two-sided question is almost always this: personal moral or bureaucratic failings, or systemic / inherent deficiencies?

    No nation based on these principles, including ours, could ever accept an apartheid-style citizen separation (such as race-based different laws for the indigenous and others), or a theocratic or ideological Supreme Ruler (whatever the title) with a veto on, well, everything. (No matter how many academic credentials in the ‘proper’ Studies they had garnered.)

  17. Wining Pom

    February 19, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    And Cory Bernardi going to the US for three months to find out that Trump is a good bloke……….

  18. Lynne Newington

    February 19, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    Apart from promoting her book, if the tax funded tour was to further understanding of the cultures it wouldn’t be a bad thing.
    The Jewish community at their own expense often send politicians to Israel, what the benefactors do to fill in the financial gaps if not satisfied with what they receive is another thing and often wondered about that with all the rorts at their finger tips at the cost of the taxpayers…….

  19. Robin Charles Halton

    February 18, 2017 at 11:14 pm

    #11 Agreed, also the Australian government should not be financing this Muslim nutcase Activist Yassmin Abdel-Magied spouting on about her opinion that Islam is ” the most feminist religion” in her book in which she quotes the Koran as commanding women to wear a head covering so that they would be “decent”.

    The author and activist who went on a taxpayer funded spree of Islamic regimes to promote the book last year who appeared on ABC”s Q&A program on Monday night where she became in a shouting match with Senator Jacqui Lambie arguing over Islam as a “most feminist religion”.

    The Activist’s writing are completely odds with Islam claims and I would hope that the Australian government in future would withdraw itself from supporting these nutters from promoting their self importance and attention views about this religious cult politics that actually subdues the role of women for misogynist control of their lives and that is not feminism, bloody oath not!

    #27 Ridiculous nonsense, grow up!

  20. Chris

    February 17, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    #18
    Quack,quack,quack,quack…if it talks and walks like a racist duck, it is…. a person or creature who thinks they are superior or other than a human cos we is all =, where were your ancestors, on another planet, maybe Africa?
    Which era are you talking about the dews on the synagogue steps on a cold Nazi night, the wogs we got to build the Hydro, The Vietnamese who make good soup, heated by napalm, or indian curries from a dark hole and now people who think differently.
    Perhaps a yellow star on their chests so they may recognise each other and we can persecute them or put them in an airtight container on a remoter island, without trial, so they can attain the morals of Howard,Rudd,Morriscum,Trunbull,and Dutton, to mention a few MORE racists with attached christian values, succinctly labelled Hypocrites.
    That anyone in the 21st century has such insomniac producing ideals is beyond me.

  21. Simon Warriner

    February 16, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    re 22, and where is your evidence that Halal certification targets the whole community? Sheez!

    Kosher and Halal certification is sold as a product by its governing bodies on the grounds it gives the user access to that market segment. That is my point.

    re 23, and where have I said, hinted, or even joked that Trump is “the solution”.

    What I have said, in so many places I have lost track, is the the US is analogous to a senile old man, and its offerings from the last presidential election were analogous to the excrement oozing down his pyjama leg un-noticed. Hardly an endorsement of any kind.

    HOWEVER, resorting to baseless invective at the one who won the race because of the complete cluelessness of the other is not going to allow a rational and safe response to the bad things that might arise from his presidency. It will also distract those engaged in it from the antics of our own miscreant political actors, which is clearly not a smart thing.

    I have to admit, Trumps antic do make compelling watching in a car crash sort of way, and I am very concerned at the gullibility being demonstrated with regard to the memes being flogged relentlessly by a mainstream media whose partisan abandonment of any pretense at being balanced is beyond debate.

  22. Leonard Colquhoun

    February 16, 2017 at 11:55 am

    Some observations of Comment 22.

    First, the distinctions among ‘Muslim’, ‘Islamic’ and ‘Islamist’ would help in presenting a rounded case. The two “Muslim-majority” countries I’ve spent most time in are the essentially secular republics of Turkey and Indonesia, and I agree with the writer’s impressions about the one being cited. But travellers to them experience Islam very differently there than they would in Islamist Saudi Arabia, Iran and Pakistan, even in smaller lifestyle things such as a cold Efes or
    Bintang on a hot day.

    As for if Western people (including us) “could stop so obsessively arguing about obscure concepts like”, say, jihad: here’s a quid pro quo – we will stop ‘obsessing’ about it if they stop applying it to us, or at least confine its application to fellow Muslims (as, statistically, it largely is).

    The two peoples implied in Comment 22 made radical decisions in the 1920s – one in 1923 and the other in 1928 – to join the 20th century. What an appalling tragedy it wold be for them, their neighbours, the umma and the world, if their societies were dragged out of the 21st century and back down to the world of the seventh century CE / first century AH.

  23. Lynne Newington

    February 16, 2017 at 11:07 am

    @22. Hi Dickie, as a matter of interest, I hope you don’t mind if I throw a further insight into the Jewish connection and the eating pork, it often comes up in general conversation.
    http://www.jwire.com.au/why-is-eating-pork-so-repugnant-to-jews-ask-the-rabbi/

  24. john hayward

    February 16, 2017 at 9:45 am

    #20, Simon. Few would argue that the subculture of hucksters known as politicians has served us well, but it hardly follows that the solution is a prodigiously stupid, dishonest, and avaricious super-huckster like Trumpty-Dumpty.

    John Hayward

  25. Dickie

    February 15, 2017 at 11:47 pm

    Re #15: You appear to have overlooked the contents of my post and the link that I provided. The compelling evidence reveals the food of Jews and Christians is already halal as stated in the Quran therefore the ethics-free halal certification is the rort of the century.

    In Islamic countries (and beyond) haram (unlawful) slaughter is regularly practised by Muslims who set about terrorizing, torturing and butchering beasts bit by bit, jeering and clapping as a beast is hideously abused – and with impunity. http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2016/10/17/video-australian-animals-brutally-killed-in-middle-east-and-asi/

    Kosher labels do not target the entire community and a large majority of Jews do not keep Kosher. A mere 22% of American Jews (pop. 5.3 million) keep kosher in their homes.

    20% of non-Orthodox Israeli Jews eat pork. Among non-Orthodox Jewish Americans that figure is closer to 65% (Pew Survey). You can identify a Kosher product by its label and choose whether to buy, or not to buy. This is in contrast to most halal-certified products.

    Unlike Muslims, Jews are not cluttering up our prison system and proselyting to fearful inmates. To my knowledge and unlike Muslims, Australian Jews are not embezzling recurrent school grants and child care government funding.

    Non-Muslim teaching staff have been threatened with dismissal if they don’t wear the head scarf. Islamic abattoirs are off-limits to non-Muslims (no jobs for non-Muslims) and so on ad infinitum.

  26. Danny

    February 15, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    I just find it endlessly hilarious how absolutely obsessed some people are with Islam. What drives these people who have no interest in becoming a Muslim or visiting Muslim majority nations to study it so intensely and profess to know more about what it means to be a Muslim than people who have chosen to be Muslims their entire lives? Especially so for Tasmanians – the vast majority of whom I would wager have never in their lives spoken to a Muslim, perhaps not even seen them from a distance.

    If people could stop so obsessively arguing about obscure concepts like taqqiya (I’ve literally never met a Muslim who has known what this is) or dragging out the suras that most Muslim never read, you wouldn’t be wasting your time arguing with people like Yassmin Whatever Her Name Is and instead focus on those actually committing crimes. Can’t you see the absolute pointlessness of saying “This is what Islam is to Muslims!” and having an actual, faithful practicing Muslim reply “I’m a Muslim and that’s not what it means to me”? It’s just bizarre that so many Australians seem to spend their own leisure time reading, studying and obsessing over it.

    I’ve spent most of my 20s living in the most populous Muslim nation on Earth, surrounded every waking and sleeping second for almoust six years of my life by Muslims from various sects, of varying levels of faith and worship. Absolutely none of what Jacqui Lambie spouts about Muslims reflects my time there in any way whatsoever.

  27. Simon Warriner

    February 15, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    re 13, what, exactly, has Trump done to “demonstrate” an ability to “eradicate democracy”?

    I know the left has it knickers in a bunch, but the common good is not well served by baseless ott emotive nonsense. Especially when it was the Democrats and Hillary Clinton who colluded with the mainstream media to corruptly deny Bernie Sanders a fair shot at the nomination.

    Erdogan, fair enough, and Orban I am not up to date with.

    Will the US fail as a democratic entity? Most likely, but I concur with Pilger in the view that the primary cause is most definitely not Trump but several of his predecessor, republicrats all.

  28. Leonard Colquhoun

    February 15, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    Isn’t Comment 15 confusing religiously proscribed food with market protectionism? Just because both use bans does not mean that they are similar in nature and motivation, does it?

  29. Robin Charles Halton

    February 15, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    #6 John Biggs, by the next election there is a requirement for a major overhaul of the immigration laws of who should be allowed to enter and remain on our shores.

    There needs to be a far more rigorous test for Muslim immigration, some of which is undermining Australian values by using Australia as a base on which to conduct its anti Western agenda.

    I will only vote for politics that is actually prepared to initiate changes in order to protect our national security through immigration policy changes.

  30. Leonard Colquhoun

    February 15, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    Re #12: 99% failure to distinguish institutional(ised) / administrative / governmental / legal /culturally endorsed misogyny on one hand, and individual & (some) group personal failings on the other.

    The test? Try getting a case up for misogyny in the theocracies.

    More generally, a failure to distinguish degree and kind.

  31. Lynne Newington

    February 15, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    Let’s be honest, it’s only until a recent timeline even the church was against Sharia Law in fact all things Muslim.
    Anyone read respected Catholic historian Hilaire Belloc’s The Great Heresy? http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/12/31/hilaire-belloc-1938-islam-formidable-persistent-enemy-western-civilization/

  32. Simon Warriner

    February 15, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    re 14, and all the other comment about Halal food and food preparation.

    Where are your complaints about Kosher food. The same sort of regime for labelling that is in place, the same sort of proscribing and nit picking goes on, for the same reasons,ie to give free reign and handfuls of cash to the ideological zealots that enforce the religious laws.

    Similar petty barricades get used to prevent food entering specific countries, I know the French used to insist on standards from those who would sell into their market that their farmers would have failed to meet at every step.

    It is only a problem for those who decide to play that game, and the impact on our food supply is only to the extent that we accept those terms of supply.

  33. Dickie

    February 15, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    No Australian law prevented Muslims in pursuit of the filthy lucre, from hijacking our food chain. Yet the Quranic verse 5:5 states: “Today, all good food is made lawful for you. The food of the people of the Scripture (Jews & Christians) is lawful (halal) for you ……”

    Oh ye hypocrites!

    http://www.ummah.com/forum/showthread.php?458945-quot-HALAL-MEAT-quot-The-Quranic-Truth

  34. john hayward

    February 15, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    #12, Leonard. You can’t be serious. While the sexism and other forms of discrimination seen in theocracies is more overt than here, leaders like Trump, Orban and Erdogan have demonstrated that eradicating democracy just takes a little more time. Be patient.

    John Hayward

  35. Leonard Colquhoun

    February 15, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    Re #10: the John McEnroe-ism of the thread so far.

  36. Leonard Colquhoun

    February 15, 2017 at 11:30 am

    Then there’s this claim by “Youth leader” Yassmin Abdel-Magied on the same Q&A episode: “Islam to me is the most feminist religion. We got equal rights well before the Europeans. We don’t take our husbands’ last names because we ain’t their property” – tens, maybe hundreds, of millions of women and girls in Islamic misogynistans^ would be ‘thrilled’ to have heard this.

    Ms Abdel-Magied was partly funded by DFAT for a recent Middle East tour, where “her stops included Riyadh, where women who venture outdoors must wear the abaya [and are legally prevented from car-driving], or full body covering, and punishments for sexual crimes include flogging and stoning; Abu Dhabi, where women require the permission of a male relative to remarry; Dubai, where most Westerners live in compounds; and Qatar, where ­marita­l rape is not a crime.

    “She also visited Kuwait, Jordan, Israel*, Egypt and Sudan, where more than 90 per cent of women undergo forced genital mutilation, forced marriage is common and polygamy is permissible, although only for men”.

    Link – http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/taxpayers-billed-for-qa-activist-yassmin-abdelmagieds-grand-tour-of-islamic-regimes/news-story/7d406323d63bdca4b20da74d567fa028

    Perhaps our Ms Sumners could post her observations on female rights in the above-named Islamic nations, and on whether “Islam to me is the most feminist religion” is true for her?

    Not sure whether the story’s last sentence is about Ms Abdel-Magied’s DFAT-rip listeners, or the Q&A audience.

    ^ ‘funny’ that, in misogyny/Wiktionary, the language of only one Muslim-majority country is listed in the /translations/ section. (And, sadly, that nation is now in danger of reverting to its own misogynistic past.

    * in the Palestine territories, according to the UNFPA’s report ‘Mutilation/Cutting: Promoting Gender Equality’, December 2015.

  37. john hayward

    February 15, 2017 at 11:08 am

    #9, Leonard. Be careful you don’t confuse black letter textbook law from the Tas Inc variety which operates in this state, which is more closely related to the arbitrary powers seen in Sharia Law . The current controversies in salmon farming, not to mention the legal history of logging and gambling in this state, illustrates how radically Tas law has diverged from the old model.

    John Hayward

  38. Leonard Colquhoun

    February 14, 2017 at 8:38 pm

    What if sharia ‘law’ was reckoned as a set of rules for consenting adults (mainly in private, or within their own communities) to follow so long as they are not illegal under the laws of this nation? Same would go for canon ‘law’, Talmudic ‘law’, Masonic ‘law’, and any other such ‘laws’ – they are just rules in the eyes of our Law.

    For the same reason, this sovereign nation can not have a parallel set of indigenous ‘laws’, no matter how ‘nice’ a feeling that might seem to for PC / trendoid long-distance sorry-sayers.

    In essence, don’t religious ‘laws’ have the same legal status as the ‘laws’ of cricket, or of debating, or of Monopoly?

  39. Simon Warriner

    February 14, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    Thanks for that timely contribution Phil.

    There are bits of JL’s performance that I think are useful, Monday night’s bit detracts from those and was unhelpful, not needed and made her look stupid and petty.

    A shame, really, because she is one of very few senators who actually acts for Tasmania and not the party their allegiance is sworn to.

  40. Claire Gilmour

    February 14, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    We are currently in another dark iron age.

    We are currently in a cusp of one of the most inhumane eras of the planet’s history.

    Growing from iron age into the silver, then golden age (enlightenment) … thousands of years from now.

    Funnily enough the history of that cycle was learnt in the middle east …

    Woops, can being a white/Caucasian negate that? Apparently so if you’ve got the iron-the money and ignorance!

    Once upon a time there were pyramids that were built to give positive energy for healing and enlightenment.

    Now we use the energy of coal, oil, then internet to destroy …

    The Egyptian hieroglyphics sign (synonym) for greed and perpetuation was a phallus, wasn’t it!???

    Now which law/s are we abiding by?

  41. John Biggs

    February 14, 2017 at 3:47 pm

    31. The mix of medieval beliefs with its own restrictions as persecution measures is not something that I would like to see be allowed to run rampant in Australia.

    Robin, Phil is not saying that! Who is going to let that happen when we have Australian laws over-riding Sharia or whatever else.

    I was embarrassed for Jacqui in Q&A banging on about something she knew nothing about, even having the cheek to argue what the Koran was about with a Muslim. Jacqui said some good things, but she has this weird fixation about Sharia law that undermines the sensible things she does have to say.

    And John you are absolutely right. We must have a Bill of Rights then that would settle this nonsensical argument once and for all.

  42. Chris

    February 14, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    I do wonder whether the good senator and her supporters here have similar concerns about Halakhah, jus canoniuml, or the Canon law of the Anglican Communion?

  43. Claire Gilmour

    February 14, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    Wouldn’t be the first time a politician tried to gain followers by stirring the pot of hatred and bending the truth to keep themselves in the halls of power and taxpayer funded privilege.

    I believe there are some ‘special’ cultural laws and in some cases community laws for the indigenous!? … I think it is always good to be prudent and to be well informed by those in the know before condemning.

    I think it’s a political notoriety stunt by Lambie playing on some people’s fears – a psychological weapon/tool, synonymous with politics in general.

    It is standard practice inside politics to use keywords, slogans, (they call it – ‘stay on message’), an invective to amass ones team. After all as most who push the buttons know, it’s mainly sex, religion and politics that sells! This is NOT generally done for the public good. It’s done to keep the mass dumbed down/brainwashed and the politician or political party in power!

    Indeed is this the best Senator Lambie can do for Tasmania? So many real everyday issues that need to be addressed in Tasmania and Australia … homelessness, aged care, paedophilia, environmental degradation, climate change to mention but a few, but Lambie seemingly wants to be instrumental in being part of starting a cultural war. I was hoping for better from her. Indeed I’d like to know who her financial backers are?

    Welcome to the climate changed New Age … !

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktvTqknDobU

  44. Wining Pom

    February 14, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    John, ‘Can you imagine how a government of Abbotts, Duttons, Christensens, Brandises, or Joyces….’

    I think that I would prefer Sharia law to that.

    And don’t mention Kosher laws to Jacqui or she might start forcing Jews to eat bacon.

  45. john hayward

    February 14, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    Like the first of those three monkey’s, Phil seems to see no evil in the fact that Australia is the only advanced democracy with no bill of rights, i.e. a statement of general moral or philosophical principles binding on our governments.

    While it might be politically unwise for an Oz gummint to abolish democracy, there is little to stop an authoritarian government with a large majority in both houses, or supported by an opposition with similar tendencies, from adopting a theocratic or otherwise totalitarian form of government.

    Can you imagine how a government of Abbotts, Duttons, Christensens, Brandises, or Joyces would behave if given their head through some sort of trumped-up national emergency?

    If fascism comes to Oz, it will probably come from the same place it is bubbling up in the US – Main Street.

    John Hayward

  46. Robin Charles Halton

    February 14, 2017 at 10:16 am

    Absolute nonsense Phil, Jacqui is right on the ball as Sharia law is not acceptable in western countries.

    The mix of medieval beliefs with its own restrictions as persecution measures is not something that I would like to see be allowed to run rampant in Australia.

    Extra measures are currently taking place in Indonesia to make the life of women for miserable, the use of moral police is an example on how women should be seen in public.

    I dont want to see Sharia law encouraged or supported in our nation, the restriction of Sharia orientated Islamic schools used for brain washing the younger generation should ring alarm bells.

    At least they should have access to compulsary public education to understand that Australia
    is first of all a democratic country and all individuals have rights, protection and freedoms though Australian law which does not mix with religion and cult rituals as Sharia law does.

    Lambie is to be commended for her efforts to bring some basic common sense back into Australia which in recent times is seen as being overboard with political correctness which is starting to look rather stupid as it threatens the way Australian society should be.

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