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Treasurer Peter Costello said radical Muslims would not be allowed to turn Australia into an Islamic state.
Mr Costello said Muslims who wanted to live in a country governed by sharia law, which imposes strict limitations on freedoms, would be better off living elsewhere.
“If you are somebody who wants to live in an Islamic state governed by sharia law you are not going to be happy in Australia, because Australia is not an Islamic state, will never be an Islamic state and will never be governed by sharia law,” Mr Costello said.
“We are a secular state under our constitution, our law is made by parliament elected in democratic elections.
“We do not derive our laws from religious instruction.”
Mr Costello said anyone who was alienated by Australia’s form of government, judicial system and civil rights and wanted something else “might be better advised to find the ‘something else’ somewhere else”.
“There are Islamic states around the world that practise sharia law and if that’s your object you may well be much more at home in such a country than trying to turn Australia into one of those countries, because it’s not going to happen,” he said.
(Posted on November 11, 2005)