Source: News Maker 

Sharia law is Islamic law and the law of the Islamic state. Therefore it may seem unsurprising that given the claims of ISIS to be an Islamic State that Jacqui Lambie associates sharia law with terrorism. The obvious question that follows is; ‘what is terrorism?’ It seems our own universities, though they have courses devoted to it, have trouble defining terrorism and suggest one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. What is clear is that academics would never define terrorism as sharia law which leaves Lambie languishing.

Fortunately we have Australian Islamic scholars like Mehmet Ozalp who have given us a few more clues about sharia law. In his submission to the 2012 Multiculturalism Inquiry Ozalp noted there are four categories of sharia law; the first two pertain to beliefs, worship and rituals and the latter two to ethics and law. It seems clear that if we are to maintain a healthy separation of ‘church’ and state – or in this case mosque and state – the line should be clearly drawn before we seek to redefine ethics and law.


In a free society, promoting freedom of religion is a no brainer.  It should have no bearing on the rest of society whether adherents of Islam face Mecca five times a day or not. However when we get to ethics and law, those other two categories of sharia that affect everyone, we encounter a number of issues. These include the apostasy and blasphemy laws, that undermine freedom and human rights. It’s clear it is here that the line must be drawn.

No one should cry ‘racism’ when these lines are drawn.  Dr Zudhi Jasser of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy  (AIFD) is an example of a strong advocate for separation of mosque and state. He  renounces sharia law and refers to those OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) leaders pushing for the international recognition of laws that would effectively act as international blasphemy and apostasy laws, as ‘thugs’. Despite being a committed Muslim, Jasser urges Americans to not bow down to these thugs because he values freedom, democracy and human rights for all.

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