The push to recognise sharia law in Australia has entered an ambitious new phase that draws on the tactics that have handed success to Islamists in Britain, says The Australian.
The latest move aims to give sharia law priority over Australian divorce law. If enacted, this plan would prevent Muslims from obtaining a civil divorce unless they first divorce under Islamic law.
The plan, published by the Alternative Law Journal, would require Muslims to appear first before a proposed Islamic divorce council made up of imams and lawyers who are familiar with sharia and Australian law.
This tribunal would "assess the credibility" of divorce applications from an Islamic perspective. Divorce decrees from this proposed council would be recognised under sharia law and become binding under civil law after approval by a civil court.
These are the key recommendations from an article in the journal that says its goal is to help Muslim women avoid improper pressure from former husbands who refuse to grant them a religious divorce.
"By establishing the council and formalising the process, women would be able to present their case under fair and culturally sensitive conditions," solicitor and migration agent Ismail Essof says.
"A process which is recognised under Australian law would mitigate some of the abuses currently permitted."
By giving indirect legal recognition to a tribunal applying sharia law, Mr Essof's plan adopts one of the main techniques to have helped sharia law become part of Britain's legal framework, The Australian said.