Hawkesbury City Council dispatched staff to serve Dr. Mustapha Kara-Ali, Imam of an Islamic religious guild that conducts its practices on a property in Colo, New South Wales, with court documents after it was observed that they were illegally clearing land.
The Imam, a Harvard graduate, responded by saying his group is exempt from Australian law and according to the ABC, screamed, “You dogs, I step on your cross” while another unidentified man accompanying Mustapha reportedly spat at the council employees.
His claim of being exempt from the law of the land was not just something uttered in anger during the heat of the moment, because in court documents filed to fight the $8,000 fine it received from the city – Mustapha stated that his organization lives:
“separated from secular lifestyles to pursue a religious mode of worship and an ascetic lifestyle under an oath of self-sacrifice and dedication to the purposes of Diwan Al Dawla.”
According to Mustapha’s world view and his interpretation of the Australian Charities and Not-for profits Commission Act, his guild needn’t follow the law which the state disputes.
Now this brouhaha is headed to court and while the case being presented by the city looks solid, as always the X-factor will be the judge.