Sunshine Coast Muslim community leader Imam Zainadine Johnson has explained how he lives his life by Sharia law.
Sunshine Coast Muslim community leader Imam Zainadine Johnson has explained how he lives his life by Sharia law. Patrick Woods

Coast Imam explains how he lives by Sharia law

THE new leader of the Coast's Muslim community has given insight into how he lives by Sharia law while complying with Australian law.

The Sunshine Coast Daily received a number of queries about Imam Zainadine Johnson's connection to Sharia law after it ran a story on his new role on the Sunshine Coast.

Imam Zainadine said he preferred to explain his approach in person but was willing to put it on the record.

"Sharia law teaches that if I have a covenant or contract I must fulfil that contract with whomsoever I deal with whether an individual or a nation," Imam Zainadine said.

"Here my covenant is with the Australian government so I must live my life without breaking the laws of Australia. 

"There are aspects of Sharia law that go against Australian law so according to Sharia law I am not permitted to practice those aspects of Sharia law here in Australia." 

He said this had been the law for Muslims around the world for more than 1400 years.

"Any Muslim who breaks the law here has broken Australian law as well as Sharia law. 

Imam Zainadine said some of the aspects of Sharia law he practised in Australia were fasting during the month of Ramadan, praying five times a day, telling the truth, respecting other people's religions, not stealing, not murdering, not cheating, not committing adultery and not drinking alcohol. 

He said aspects of Sharia law he was not allowed to practice in Australia included cutting off the hand of a thief, whipping Muslims who drank alcohol or stoning to death married men or women who committed adultery.

"These aspects of Sharia are against Australian law so it is against Sharia law for me to do that. 

"Even in a country that does have Sharia law it is the job of the courts and not the local Imam to implement (justice)." 

He said many people misunderstood how Sharia law worked.

"That is why I invited people to come and talk about it as dialogue is always best."

He said section 116 of the Australian Constitution stated "the Commonwealth shall not make any law... for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion". 

"My choice to live my life by Sharia law in this country is not illegal.

"Nor does it affect anyone else's daily lives except in a positive way- that there is one less drink driver, one less ice addict, one less thief, swindler or killer on the streets. 

"My message to everyone is peace and let's live in harmony."



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