(DAILY MAIL) — By Stephen Johnson
A leader of a hardline Islamist group which campaigns for sharia law says Muslims who leave the religion should be put to death.
Hizb ut-Tahrir spokesman Uthman Badar was frank when asked about the group’s policy at a forum in Bankstown, in Sydney’s south-west, on Saturday night.
‘The ruling for apostates as such in Islam is clear, that apostates attract capital punishment and we don’t shy away from that,’ Badar said in the presence of children. An apostate is someone who decides to leave Islam.
His extraordinary admission was exclusively captured on camera by Daily Mail Australia and the matter has now been referred to the Australian Federal Police by Justice Minister Michael Keenan.
Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia removed references to that apostasy policy from its website as Alison Bevege, a freelance journalist, sued the group for making her to sit in a women’s-only section at a separate talk in October 2014.
On Saturday night, Ms Bevege held up a printed copy of Hizb ut-Tahrir’s draft constitution of the khilafah state published on the UK site, which was on the group’s Australian website until 2015.
This outlines their vision for a global Islamic caliphate, which has Muslims and non-Muslims living under sharia law.
She asked about their policy of killing people born as Muslims who leave the faith.
Hizb-ut Tahrir is a hardline Islamist group which seeks the establishment of a global caliphate, or empire.
The extremist group is said to reject democracy, secularism and all Western models of state.
Former prime minister Tony Abbott called for the group to be shut down in 2014, but the ban was never put in place.
A spokeswoman for Justice Michael Keenan told Daily Mail Australia the ‘execution’ matter had been referred to the Federal Police.
The organization is banned in a number of Muslim-majority countries.
Article 7c of the document said: ‘Those who are guilty of apostasy (murtadd) from Islam are to be executed according to the rule of apostasy, provided they have by themselves renounced Islam.’
Badar initially responded by saying the policy wasn’t on its website before explaining how the group’s apostasy policy was compatible with Islam.
‘The whole thing covers different aspects of Islamic sharia law,’ he said.
‘The role of apostasy in Islam is very clear. Again, this is one of the things the West doesn’t like and seeks to change the role of apostasy.’
A spokeswoman for Justice Minister Michael Keenan condemned language that incites or advocates violence.
‘Language that incites or advocates violence is not freedom of speech,’ the spokeswoman said.