Posted on September 6, 2005

Muslim Party Seeks Islamic Law for Australians

Patricia Karvelas, Australian (Sydney), Sept. 6

The leader of the nation’s first Muslim political party says all Australians should be living under Islamic law dictated by the Koran.

The Best Party of Allah in Australia applied for registration in the ACT yesterday, claiming to provide a political voice for Muslims.

Founder Kurt Kennedy, a Vietnamese-born Muslim convert and candidate in the ACT assembly elections last year, said the party wanted to “implement the laws as stated in the Koran”.

“The positive part of sharia law is (about) treating everybody fairly,” he said. “I don’t think anybody should have any worries about it.

“If they read through the Koran, there’s nothing there that will threaten them or threaten their personal life or property.”

The new party had almost 200 members but needed 500 to register federally, which was the goal, he said.

“The thing is to have a profile and to defend those who believe in Allah.”

People were “living in the dark” and experiencing an unnecessary level of fear of Islam.

The emergence of the Family First Party had showed him that there was a role for religious-based parties. “It’s obvious what they do,” he said.

“We don’t want to hide behind things. We want to go out and say we are believers of Allah, we believe in his religion, we obey his laws as stated in the Koran — there’s nothing to worry about.”

Australians who were not Muslims were welcome to join the party, Mr Kennedy said.

“Whether they become Muslims or not become Muslims, because they will see a sensible view not corrupted by lobby groups, a view not corrupted by hypocrisy — like sending food-aid to Iraq but, at the same time, sending our soldiers there and bombing and killing their children as well.”

Mr Kennedy could not guarantee extremists would not join his party but said he thought it unlikely that people with extremist views would want to participate in the peaceful, democratic political system.

“We have a constitution and a process where people fill in an application form and the secretary can decide whether to enlist them or reject them, like any other political party,” he said.

The party would promote “moderate politics” and would be neither right-wing nor left-wing.