What is Shariah?
The word shariah means ‘path’ and it is a set of interpretations that are dynamic and intended to accommodate the time, place, and laws of a particular community. Thus, the term shariah law is a misnomer because shariah is not law but a set of principles.
Shariah was and is developed to be flexible and dynamic in practice, in order to achieve two main goals, and protect six main principles in society. The two goals are to bring good to one’s community, and to repel harm from one’s community. The six principles protected under Shariah are life, family, religion, education, property, and human dignity. Shariah must then adapt with respect to the social, political, and cultural climate of a given place and time in order to ensure that these two goals are met, and these six principles are protected.
Throughout history the way to achieve these goals and protect these principles has differed between various philosophies, eras, communities, and leaders. Understanding the potential complexity behind Sharia and its various interpretations, is the first step in realising that following Shariah in Australia is not a threat to Australia. In fact, Shariah mandates that a Muslim practice their faith while respecting the law of the land in which they reside. The scholars are in a consensus on this issue.
The vast majority of Australian law is Shariah compliant and in most instances exactly same as Shariah so there is no need for any 'imposition'.
This includes, but is not limited to; the rule of law, the adversarial system, the jury system, much of court etiquette, evidence law, maritime law, tort law, trust law, contract law, equity, power of attorney, mediation, legal ethics, criminal law, marriage, partnership, trade practices, consumer law, child support and the list goes on and on!
The fear of Shariah has been deceptively implanted in people's minds to cause fear and division.
The ultimate and indisputable proof that there should be no fear of Shariah is that it only applies to Muslims. That's right, non-Muslims are not subject to Shariah under Islamic law, so why fear something which is irrelevant except for Muslims?
Shariah explicitly mandates Muslims to respect the law of the land in which they reside. Thus, Sharia acknowledges the need to abide by laws independent of Islam – not to overthrow or replace them.
Shariah is not a code of punishments for crimes. In accordance with the above, criminal punishments are not a part of Sharia for Australian Muslims because our government enforces criminal laws. Australian Muslims are mandated to respect the criminal system of Australia and not to create their own.
Australian Muslims don’t want a separate legal system
New South Wales Muslims believe Australian society accommodates Islamic law, and are not seeking to create a separate Islamic legal system according to research from the University of Sydney. Dr Ghena Krayem conducted interviews with members of Muslim communities in Sydney. Dr Krayem focused on family law, an area where observant Muslims abide by both Australian and sharia law when it comes to marriage and divorce.
The study suggests observant Muslims do not seek to create a separate legal system to rival Australian law, and existing legislative instruments, such as prenuptial agreements, allow for sharia to be practised within the Australian legal system. http://sydney.edu.au/news/84.html?newsstoryid=8407