Why am I not surprised at the appalling Andrew Bolt's bellicose reaction to sharia advocate Ibrahim Siddiq-Conlon's mildly provocative statements regarding his desire to have the law changed in Australia.

The bilious blowhard accuses him of being 'troubled" and "angry", then goes on to say: "The guy clearly is someone with an ego that’s outsized in comparison to his real worth, and is getting off on the attention."

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! (And I don't mean that in a racist way, of course.)

But let's just look at what Siddiq-Conlon actually said:

“One day Australia will live under sharia; it’s inevitable,” he said. “If they (Australians) don’t accept it, that’s not our problem. We hope, and our objective is to have a peaceful transition, but when you look at history that has never been the case. There’s always been a fight. It is inevitable that one day there will be a struggle for Islam in Australia.”

Firstly, where's the anger? He does say that he wants a peaceful transition. And he's right to imply that the powers that be will resist it - and violently. They always do; they just can't handle change (as anyone on the left hoping to create a better society knows only too well!).

And is sharia law all that bad? It surely couldn't be any worse than the institutionalized homophobia, racism and sexism that we currently live under now. Could it?

There's a lot of reactionary right-wing propaganda out there about how barbaric it is. But let's hear from someone who knows what it's really about. Siddiq-Conon again:

"If chopping off the hands is the punishment given by the sharia court then we say glad tidings, because chopping off the hands -- when you understand what is sharia -- is a mercy to that person.

"Why is it a mercy getting your hands chopped off? Because it can be expiation for your sins. It is better to get punished in this life than to go underground into the grave or into the hellfire for eternity."

Where is the barbarity? There is only goodwill, compassion, and opportunity for atonement. Now compare this to Christianity. Clearly, it's far less punitive than that backward, hateful religion!

That's why I'm for Sharia4Australia. However, I'm not all for it. You see, being a progressive I do think that separation of church and state is the way to go. And unlike Christians, I do actually believe in religious tolerance.

That's why I think that there should be an "opt-out clause" written into this new law in which all Australians who don't wish to live under sharia don't have to - unless they are Christians or conservatives. They will have no say in the matter. (They don't tolerate anyone else so why should we tolerate them? And anyway, they'll still be shown a lot more mercy and compassion under sharia than they've ever shown to others in the past!)

I believe that's a very fair and just solution to this problem. Actually, I think Solomon himself would approve.

UPDATE: For my paradigm-busting thoughts on the 60 Minutes story about Siddiq-Conlon and related issues go here.