Government Official Says Muslims Who Want to Live by Sharia Law Not
Australian Prime Minister Julia
Gillard Said No to Sharia-Unproven!
Summary of the eRumor: The eRumor appears to be an
article that quotes the Australian Finance Minister as saying that
immigrants who want to live in Australia need to live by Australian law,
not the Sharia law of Islam. He is quoted as saying that Muslims
to want to live by Sharia law are not welcome in Australia.
The Truth: The
remarks by the Australian Finance Minister Peter Costello were made in a
speech on February 23, 2006 to the Sydney Institute.
The article quoted in the
eRumor was written by Phil Mercer of the BBC and published in February,
2006, when this eRumor began circulating.
In late 2010 versions
of this eRumor began circulating attributing these comments to
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard. We have found no
evidence of this being true.
In 2009, another altered
version began circulating saying that this was said by Australian Prime
Minister Kevin Rudd, which is also fiction.
speech was titled Worth Promoting, Worth Defending, Australian
Citizenship, What it Means and How to Nurture it. In his
speech he extolled the virtues of Australia and the necessity of
adhering to Australian law. Then he added, "But don't you
think Australian Muslims Muslims living in Australia also have a
responsibility to adhere to Australian law? He went on to say
"There is one law we are all expected to abide by. It is the law
enacted by the Parliament under the Australian Constitution. If you
can't accept that then you don't accept the fundamentals of what
Australia is and what it stands for." He suggested that if
someone wanted to live under Sharia law [law derived from the Koran],
Saudia Arabia and Iran should be considered. Then he added,
"Before becoming an Australian you will be asked to subscribe to
certain values. If you have strong objections to those values don't come
A real example of the eRumor as it has
appeared on the Internet:
A senior member of Australia's government has said
Muslims who want to live by Islamic Sharia law are not
welcome in the country. The comments have stoked
Muslim anger against the Australian government.
Australian Finance Minister Peter Costello said in a
speech late Thursday that immigrants must respect the
country's laws and traditions. Costello singled out
Muslims who wanted to live under Sharia law as not
welcome in Australia.
In his speech on Australian citizenship, the minister
said his remarks were directed at what he called a
"small radical minority." "You don't have to swear at
the football and eat a pie to be an Australian," he
said, "but you do have believe in democracy, the rule
of law and the rights and liberties of others."
Earlier this week Prime Minister John Howard also
addressed Islamic extremism, saying it violated
Australia's principles. He pointed to contentious
issues such as relations with non-Muslims and the
rights of women.
Australian Muslims have reacted with anger to both
sets of comments. They accuse the government of being
deliberately inflammatory and divisive.
Keysar Trad, president of the Islamic Friendship
Association of Australia, says Costello's comments are
unnecessary. "He is singling out the Muslim community
again," he said. "Rather than calling on all citizens
to respect the law of the land and respect traditional
values, he is making an inference in his comments that
Muslims don't do that. Well, on the contrary, Muslims
do respect the law of the land and do respect the
values of this country."
There are around 300,000 Muslims in Australia.
Community leaders say racism toward this minority
group has increased since the terrorist attacks in the
United States in September 2001 and the bombings on
the Indonesian island of Bali a year later, in which
Australian tourists were targeted.