Secular groups fear that hardline Muslims preaching Sharia law could be protected from criticisms under the new religious discrimination law.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison flagged a new Religious Discrimination Act after former attorney-general Philip Ruddock’s review into faith freedom.
The proposed law would make it illegal to criticize or discriminate against someone based on their religion, creating a new Religious Freedom Commissioner.
A senator is worried that the new law “will be used as a Sharia shield protecting mad Mullahs and Islamic hate preachers.”
The proposal was created after the Islamic Council of Victoria put in a submission calling for “a protection for people to safely practise their freedom of religion in Australia.”
It started after hardline Muslim groups affiliated with his council made controversial statements in line with their interpretation of Islamic law.
In a recent sermon from Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah Association preacher, Nassim Abdi said that married women should always make themselves available for sex for their husband and that saying no is a sin.
Another hardline Muslim preacher, Jamil El Biza, has said it is sinful for Muslims to wish Christians a Merry Christmas and even described homosexual people as ‘f****ts.’
Secular Party of Australia president John Perkins fears the new law would encourage hardline Muslims to preach Sharia law practices, such as child marriage.
He told Daily Mail Australia: “Yes, indeed it could. That’s exactly the concern. All of those things, if you look at them, they’re all mandated on the Quran, various forms of human rights abuses.
“Protecting Christians from criticism, which is probably the motivation, it could very well have this side effect, that all religions become beyond criticism including all of the egregious practices that you can think of.”
The new law could see Australians charged with profanity for criticizing Islam.
Dr. Perkins added: “That is exactly what we are worried about because if you start putting restrictions on what people can say, it comes almost like a blasphemy law. You should be able to criticise religions without criticising the believers.
“Denigrating Muslims is not good but we must have the freedom to criticise the religion itself. That’s a very big concern.”
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