The Islamic Association of South Australia founder Shaikh M Tawhidi has released a statement on Tuesday issuing a warning of the lack of tolerance for unchanged headscarf laws.
The ABC reported that the Muslims across Australia have reacted to an incident on March 16 where a man, 27, grabbed a Muslim woman’s headscarf while she got into a bus en route to Adelaide’s inner north yet he was released on bail. The IASA founder has indicated the Muslim community’s intolerance for such a legal system and hence could spark violence in case no amendment is made to the law. IASA’s imam stated that he was afraid that a day will come “where the Muslim community might take matters into their own hands to protect their women and mothers.”
“If government laws do not prevent such assaults, then I fear that a day will come where the Muslim community might take matters into their own hands to protect their women and mothers,” Tawhidi said.
Police confirmed that the woman was not injured physically. According to the Daily Mail, the man was arrested and charged with assaulting the Muslim woman and showing offensive behaviour towards her on a public transport. However, according to the imam, it was not enough for arrest and a charge for an offender but that one should be severely published. The man is due to appear in the Elizabeth Magistrates Court on April 18.
The imam warned of Muslims conducting violence if the Australian government does not review its headscarf laws. “Kilburn, Prospect and surrounding areas have a large Muslim population,” the imam said. “It is actions like these, and non-strategic rulings that could spark a reaction from the affected families that will result in violence.”