The latest move, under the guise of helping Muslim women, would give sharia law priority over Australian divorce law.
If enacted, this plan would prevent Muslims from obtaining a civil divorce unless they first divorce under Islamic law.
The plan, published by the Alternative Law Journal, would require Muslims to appear first before a proposed Islamic divorce council made up of imams and lawyers who are familiar with sharia and Australian law.
Warning to Australians:
During a visit to Australia in August, British-based anti-sharia law campaigner Maryam Namazie said Australia should learn from Britain's mistake in extending a form of legal recognition to tribunals that use sharia law, not British law, to decide disputes.
Ms Namazie's organisation, One Law for All, produced a report last year that outlines how the British Arbitration Act has permitted sharia tribunals to make rulings based on principles that displace the normal law.
The rulings of sharia arbitrators can be registered with Britain's civil courts and then enforced as if they are judgments of mainstream courts, the report says.
Ms Namazie blames the liberal media in Britain and the British government for tolerating a form of "legal pluralism" that deprives individual Muslims of some of the rights enjoyed by other Britons.
"When you look at sharia's advancement, it restricts the rights and freedoms of Muslims first and foremost and therefore it is actually to the detriment of Muslims if it advances," Ms Namazie says.
Sharia law will override State law:
"The council will not have legally binding powers unless decisions were to be approved by a court during the civil divorce proceedings. A decree pronounced by the council would, however, be recognised by Islamic law."
The final step would require the inclusion of what Mr Essof describes as an "extra criterion" in a divorce application.
"The applicant would be asked if they were married through a religious Muslim ceremony. If the applicant responded in the affirmative, then they would be required to prove to the registrar that the couple has been divorced under sharia law. Unless there is official documentation to prove a religious divorce has been granted, an application for divorce under civil law would be denied."
|David Yerushalmi Esq. of Crown Heights, Brooklyn.|