Australian Judge Finds Muslim “Cultural Differences” Valid Excuse for Rape

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


Bit by bit, Western nations are adopting Muslim legal standards on blasphemy and on the treatment of women.

The excuses are manifold. Racism, cultural differences, Islamophobia, relativism… but it all ends the same way, with Western writers, artists and thinkers being censored and Western women being subject to Taliban treatment.

This is how it began.

An Afghan refugee would drive from his home in Tullamarine to nightclubs in Frankston late at night searching for drunk, vulnerable young woman to prey on, a court was told today.

He would pick them up in his white 1988 Honda Civic and rape them.

The victim was sitting on the footpath behind the 21st Century Dance Club when Esmatullah Sharifi approached her and offered to give her a lift to the Bay Hotel.

She accepted but became anxious and confused when they had been driving for an hour and she saw a road sign saying Sorrento.

Sharifi then pulled over into a dark side street and raped her in the front passenger seat.

“She began to scream and cry out for help,” Ms Dalziel said.

“The accused put his left hand over her mouth and his right hand around her neck, restricting her breathing. He said to her, ‘I’ll take you home after it, I’ll give you back your phone as well’.

In the rapist’s defense, his lawyer argued that he wasn’t at all clear about this whole “Women are human beings” thing.

Mr Regan said Esmatullah Sharifi was uneducated, illiterate, inexperienced in forming relationships with women, and was confused about the nature of consent. He is in Australia on a permanent protected visa.

The judge didn’t buy it then, but the usual lefty approach is to just keep appealing until you find a bleeding heart judge who accepts the horrible notion being put forward. And that didn’t take very long.

Granting leave to appeal, Court of Appeal Justice Robert Redlich said: “The sentencing judge rejected any suggestion (Esmatullah Sharifi) didn’t have a clear concept of consent in sexual relations.”

In April last year, a psychologist told the County Court that Sharifi had “an unclear concept of what constitutes consent in sexual relationships” in Australia.

“It proves, in my view, an adequate basis for most grounds of appeal that (Sharifi) wishes to pursue,” the judge said.

We’re not just dealing with ignorance of the law. We have Western judges setting out the notion that if a Muslim settler in Europe, America or Australia does not understand the concept that women can refuse sexual contact, that this is a mitigating circumstance.

Ms Dalziel said Esmatullah Sharifi claimed he did not have a great understanding of sexual mores in Australia but Judge Mark Dean disagreed.

“These are acts of violence,” the judge said. “Serious acts of violence against women, nothing to do with sexual mores. They’re brutal acts of violence.”

But they do. In Muslim sexual mores, serious acts of violence being committed against women are not a problem because the women do not belong to themselves. They belong to their family.

Islam does not recognize the same concept of individual rights as civilized jurisprudence does. Furthermore Muslims from tribal societies like Afghanistan bring those same tribal attitudes along.

As Australian columnist Andrew Bolt says, quite rightly,

If Afghan men have a culture which leaves them more likely to rape, and our courts have a culture of being more lenient as a consequence, I suggest Australian women have an interest in stopping the boats until we get this sorted out:

And that doesn’t just go only for Australia. Stop the boats. Stop the planes. Stop the trains.

The left cannot have it both ways.

Either Esmatullah Sharifi is responsible for his own actions. Or he isn’t. Either rape is cultural or it’s individual. Either Esmatullah Sharifi should be hit with the full force of the law or the Afghan culture of rape represents a threat to non-Muslim countries.

They can only pick one.

  • Oliver

    He was sentenced in 2012……and got 14 years jail reduced to 8 years because of a “traumatic” upbringing. I don’t don’t think that’s right still for what he did but this story is making things seem worse than what actually happened.

  • Michelle Gorry

    Let’s bow down to a minority shall we – what cowardice – this is an outrage and the Judge should be sacked and the rapist go before a FEMALE Australian Judge!

  • Luke

    Its an individuals responsibility to educate themselves on the laws of another country when entering it. Its utter stupidity to let this mans crime slide due to negligence.

    But this doesn’t only apply to individuals from Afghanistan. I’m tired of hearing about Australians being arrested or tortured in other countries due to their own negligence, and then our government has to try and “step in” to save them.

    Take responsibility for your actions.

  • Ian

    Hey, Ladies: Find a rapist, murder a rapist! Your personal defence is a mitigating circumstance – if it’s a Muslim, let him get real close and then kill him! Just, leave the garlic-stinking rag-headed vermin dead at the roadside and go on your way, singing! I, a People’s Jury, find you NOT GUILTY OF MURDER, due to those mitigating circumstances!

  • Tell the truth

    It’s a bullshit story. He still got sentenced. Read from a reputable news source, not propaganda. http://mobile.news.com.au/national/victoria/afghan-refugee-esmatullah-sharifis-rape-sentence/story-fnii5sms-1226651596447

  • Just saying!

    We have become as gutless as the british legal system in dealing with these backward beleifs.

  • Afghan Refugee

    I am an Afghan refugee, having fled the Taliban and lived in refugee camps over 8 years and been in Australia since 2000. I am a law abiding, successful professional living my dream in Sydney, with brothers servicing in the Australian defence. We are very thankful and forever indebted to the Country. Now the whole notion of using this guys cultural or religious background as defence is abhorrent. He did the crime, so treat him the same as everyone else. This guy’s acts are criminal and nothing to do with the fact that he is from Afghanistan, and that should be the basis of the case. There are hundreds of thousands of very thankful hard working successful Afghans in Australia and this his not who we are, and neither is Taliban. This is a minority, that has slipped through the cracks that needs to be locked away and faced with the full force of law.

  • Smokiee Portlock

    if it was this judges kids raped, would it be the same, mmm. double standards

  • Narelle

    he should be immediately deported because his ‘culture’ is not consistent withours and he clearly wont fit in…..perhaps he should take the idiot judge with him.

  • Michael McEachern

    If anyone from the western world goes to the middle east we have to learn and follow their laws and rules, But if anyone from the middle east goes to the western world they dont have to learn and follow our laws and rules? Instead they think that their laws should follow them and we should just accept it. Doesnt make sense to me.

  • Anthone Ward

    when did religion over rule the law of the land

  • JulzMusic

    I have some muslim friends that are absolutely beautiful people… They pay full respects and follow their muslim heritage however they live an outwardly Australian lifestyle, which i think is what the actual issue is….
    Australia thinks it is multicultural, but it’s actually not – in allowing for different raced/religiously inclined individuals to get away with different things we continue to ostracise each race…..

    I believe that muslims should be given full opportunity to live out their lives respecting and abiding by their religious requirements (as I do with all religious people) HOWEVER that should not excuse them from assimilating to an ‘Australian lifestyle’ (I say as a general term for Western) . This includes, living by our laws, following our rules, paying taxes, respecting different cultures (No more forcing hospitals to take religious crosses down or trying to eradicate the notion of Christmas in schools).

    So long as the government and ‘left-wing’ individuals continue to treat them differently, and make EXTREME cultural changes purely based on their (more notably) extreme cultural demands the problem will continue…. I wouldn’t blame muslims as individuals because I know to many that I love and respect, so I think it’s very wrong to do so. I’d blame ‘Muslim Extremists’ and ‘The government’ for this entire saga.

    MUST BE (- Insert High Percentage here – %) CULTURALLY ASSIMILATED BEFORE ENTERING THE COUNTRY! For all future ‘Australians’…

    No more excuses.

  • Susan

    This is a terrible tale, and a news worthy story. However, the authors reasoning around ‘The Left’ is incredibly flawed. Furthermore, the simplicity of the argument of ‘Islamic Law’ not including rape is false. First of all, their is no singular ‘Islamic Law’. The uluma, or judicial scholars, on whom Islamic law is largely based, have varied views on a range of legal issues. In a large number of countries with Islamic law, rape is illegal. The key issue with rape under Islamic law relates to issues of evidence, not it’s basic existence. Often a woman only counts as half a witness and it is likely to be very difficult (for obvious reasons) for a woman to have other witnesses come forward to support her story.

    I see one of the main issues to be the fact a judge considered cultural norm a mitigating factor. Australian law does not rely on awareness/knowledge to be valid. In Australia rape is illegal and consent is specifically defined.

  • Ignorant

    The Lawyer of this asshole guy is an idiot for pursuing the lack of knowledge of this rapist.Why you let this kind of people come to your country if they’re not aware of your culture and to think that rape is not a crime… I guess it’s time to blame your immigration law..

  • usafsam

    I think they should let the victims decide the punishment of this low life scum muzzie! If it were me I would cut of his gonnads and shove them in his mouth and tape it shut, then take bets on whether he would choke to death or bleed to death first.

  • Geoff

    WTF is this shit so how much was this judge paid off ????. This judge and the rest of the tree hugging fuck wits that make decisions should have to go live in a muslim country and see exactly what goes on. I have worked OS and experienced first hand what a typical muslim country is like I so hope the Australian government wakes up soon or we are all doomed.

  • Lizbet

    Shame on the judges that are supposed to protect the Australian people. More fool Australians for letting the muslims do whatever they want in our country. Shame on the politicians for letting people of such a different culture flood here and change our way of life. They wonder why racism grows. This is a good example. Are we, as Australians allowed to stone them to death as in their culture? No doubt the bleeding hearts will scream we are racist and should feel sorry for this man.

  • Kylee

    This is disgusting , the law should be the same for everyone, that piece of scum shouldn’t be able to get away with this. I hope that judge sleeps well at night, knowing that man is probably out there doing repeating is crime ( and others that now know they can get away with it).

  • Lee

    I come from a culture where it is not considered acceptable for a man that rapes women to be allowed to live their life without having the absolute **** kicked out of them and anyone who finds their behaviour acceptable. Surely that is acceptable because that’s my culture

  • RavenDjinn

    How are these pigs getting into Australia??!?

  • Les Hilet

    Robert Redlich Should be immediately removed from the bench, Ignorance of the law is no excuse. Rape is Rape no matter who commits it.

  • YOLO

    But hang the author is an Israeli born extremist, identified in many reputable publications as a propaganda machine and an anitislamist. This is just politics… Don’t pay attention to this guy.

  • Tania Baird

    the rapist was a Muslim…yet he had travelled to and possibly moved to a western country where the majority of the people in that society weren’t Muslim-people are regarded as racists for not accepting other peoples cultures-wasn’t this also racism in its purest form? If this had occurred in a Muslim country that poor girl may possibly have been dead. This is appalling. WHEN will it stop

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe_Brain

    http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/cases/vic/VSCA/2013/126.html

    He got his sentence reduced from the unusually high one of 14 years to 12 years 6 months on appeal. Still higher than average.

    That was based on psychiatric evidence of PTSD. Looking at his history, it would be enough to drive anyone crazy.

    10 The appellant is 32 years’ old. He was born in Afghanistan. The appellant’s family are Shia Muslims of Hazara ethnicity, who are at odds with the Taliban, who are Sunni Muslims of Pashtun ethnicity.

    11 When he was a child, the appellant saw soldiers take away his father. He never saw his father again. His father’s brother also disappeared. Later on, the appellant’s older brother was killed by the Taliban, apparently to facilitate a petty theft.
    The appellant was an eye-witness to this killing. He also witnessed other killings and atrocities by the Taliban. Hazaras were targeted. On four occasions, he appellant was beaten with cables by the Taliban, twice losing consciousness. On two of these four occasions the beatings were administered in a government district office. In 2007, when living in Australia, he learnt that one of his younger brothers had been murdered by the Taliban.

    12 The appellant left Afghanistan and travelled to Pakistan, Indonesia and then to Australia. In 2005, he gained a permanent protection visa and lived with other refugees from Afghanistan in Melbourne.

    13 The appellant has never received an education.
    He began working at the age of about nine with his older brother – the
    brother whom the Taliban later killed in his presence – in an automobile
    mechanical workshop. After being released from the detention centre in
    Australia, the appellant obtained work in a plastics factory and then as a welder. He lost jobs because of his illiteracy. He applied for other jobs, but
    his illiteracy and very limited spoken English worked against him. In 2008,
    however, he obtained work as a mechanic. He remained in that employment at time of offending, working long hours, but becoming increasingly isolated from
    other members of the Afghan community in Melbourne.

    14 Shortly before fleeing from Afghanistan, the appellant became engaged. It was an arranged engagement, but the appellant was apparently not unhappy about it on that account. In accordance with custom, he and his fiancée did not have sexual relations. Indeed, on his account, he had no relationships with girls in his adolescence and no sexual experiences.

    15 After arriving in Australia, the appellant kept in contact with his fiancée and his mother. It was his intention to bring them to Australia once he had permanent residency. But after he gained that status, lack of money stood in the way. Nonetheless, once he obtained the mechanic’s job, he repatriated a substantial part of his income to his mother and fiancée.

    He;s not a bad person. Dangerously warped and crazy as a loon, yes. But possibly salvageable.

  • Patriotic

    Why? Send him home the fucking grub

  • Angry Aussie

    The guy knew what he was doing. If we did this in another country, we’d be shot or sent to jail. I am absolutely digusted.

  • moroz

    the thing that is absolute shit is he gets away with it rape is rape no matter witch country your from this guy should be deported immediately we do not need this kind of trash in this country. This judge should be spoken to harshly about his stupid decision.

    Either Esmatullah Sharifi is responsible for his own actions.

    Either Esmatullah Sharifi should be hit with the full force of the law
    or the Afghan culture of rape represents a threat to non-Muslim
    countries.

  • Sean Carville

    How is that a lefty approach? Stalin embraced and enforced atheism alongside communism (extreme left) whereas Hitler used Christianity as one of his vehicles during the Nazi era as a fascist (extreme right)….

  • hadenough

    omg. i have no words.

  • Michelle Wilson

    If the women belong to her family, wouldn’t the rapist , by his own belief, need their permission to rape her? Or better yet! If this idiot can’t understand NO then speak internationally: with a legal loaded firearm! Bet his little pea brain will get that message!

  • horrified

    As disgusted as I am with this story, I’m just as disgusted with the idea commented here that to punish the judges, his daughters should be raped. That anyone would ever even suggest violent sex as a type of punishment, is to show the exact same attitude you claim to abhor. Moreover, to punish not the one who has done the wrong thing but another, and not just another but a female, is exactly the same ideas as the ones you rail against. Should I then, in disagreeing with you, call down such a curse on the women in your lives? When does it end? How many women get raped before we realise we need to deal with the hearts and actions of men?

  • Anon

    Australia amazes me again, the majority choose to neglect the so called “outsiders”, the refugees, Australian’s do not treat them like fellow Australians, so how could they be prosecuted as such?,

  • thushjz

    “What difference does it make?” Hillary

  • NO MORE politcally correct BS

    all this bullsh!t talking hang the dirtbag…. this has nothing to do with being aware… go remove that judge by force if you have to hes been bribed.

  • cancanjody

    Total BS here. He knew he was wrong; that’s why he drove to a safe, remote spot for his crime. He needs punishment; others will learn from it. He knows enough to hide his action. PERIOD. Keep in mind also~~~ he covered her mouth when she screamed…

  • John Houlgate

    What was the appellate judge’s verdict? I think that’s an important, but missing part of this story. He could give is opinion that considers ‘mitigating’ circumstances, but that doesn’t mean that’s how he ruled.

  • Lillypad

    That was a silly mistake the
    Appeals judge made. Was there intent, yes he prepared for this act and went out to find a vulnerable female. His culture shouldn’t protect him he does know the boundaries he just thinks because we live more ‘loosely’ women are fair game. If he had done this in his country he would have to marry her, or be punished by genitals dismembered. No more excuses. Equal rights for all including our Muslim brothers.

  • Sean h

    It doesn’t matter who you are or what you believe, nobody has that right to do that to another person and blaming it on stupidity and religion Is just going to make another (cronulla riots) happen. Which im more than happy to teach this scum bag a lesson in!
    You should be ashamed and dis bar’d judge redlich!

  • Robert Paine

    I hope she has some brothers and they have big bats. Smash every bone in his body and feed him to the pigs.

  • jean black

    Absolutely Disgusting,,In some of these backward countries if a woman has been raped she needs 4 male witnesses or forget it, If a couple commit adultery the woman is stoned to death,, I read a true story about a young woman who became friendly with a man of her own religion, they only talked, never touched,, Her father found out and stabbed her 10 times then waited till she died before calling an ambulance, he was told by police, Well done,Her friend knew of the friendship and was told by the dead girls father that if he found out she knew he would stab her as well, her father said Nothing !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Enrico Zumbo

    I wonder where or if that judge ever had any moral education? I wonder if that “judge” was raped he would look upon it as a cultural experience?. What next? will the victim receive 200 lashes and labeled a whore just as in Saudi Arabia?. Was he “judging” Australians under Sharia “law”? Jesus will be the ultimate Judge and He will judge righteously. I pity that halfwit “Judge”

  • Tanya Bee

    Disgusted…. :-(

  • Flynn

    Congratulations on copy and pasting most of The Age’s article on this and morphing it to be disgustingly and presumptuously racist. This is possibly the worst piece of journalism I have ever encountered. If anyone cares to look at the real article in the Age you’ll see the defence given was severe anxiety and depression caused by his upbringing under the Taliban who beat him and killed his siblings in front of him. His Islamism was in no way used as a defence, you idiot.

    • John Joseph Michael Barry

      Does not matter what happened in his past he is a pig who raped a women you idiot!

  • Someone

    This sounds like propaganda to me. If you read the article the judge did not say that it was o.k to rape woman at all in any way shape or form. He basically said legally in his opinion the guy has grounds for appeal which is the law. His opinion on the guys actions was this:

    “These are acts of violence,” the judge said. “Serious acts of violence
    against women, nothing to do with sexual mores. They’re brutal acts of
    violence.”

    I find it scary how easily people are influenced by the media and don’t seem to think for themselves at all. Judging by the comments I’m surprised you haven’t all gone and stoned the guy in the street :/

    And what is this Shillman Journalism? lol.. What’s a Shill btw: “”Shill” typically refers to someone who purposely gives onlookers the
    impression that they are an enthusiastic independent customer of a
    seller or marketer of ideas for whom they are secretly working. The
    person or group who hires the shill is using crowd psychology to encourage other onlookers or audience members to purchase the goods or services or to accept the ideas being marketed. Yeah propaganda journalism it is. Now, i bet you really want to be rid of those pesky immigrants eh? make you want to become a racist and start a riot? as if white people never do such things.

  • Kate Bettison

    This is a ridiculous sentence – for any rapist. But, on further research into sentences for rapists in Australia, the average sentence is 4 years (it disgusts me!). And some rapists just get probation…this needs to change…

  • French_Swede

    Are the men in India who are gang-raping female tourists Muslim? Is this an excuse they are giving for their actions?

  • Hahaha

    I totally missed the bit where the Judge excused this behaviour, as the title suggests. Dishonest fear-mongering bullshit. I see most of the commenters here didn’t actually read the article, so I’ll add lazy to that as well.

  • Truth
  • FACT

    Sharifi was jailed in 2009 for 9½ years with a minimum of seven years for the Christmas Eve rape. In April, he was given a total sentence of 14 years.

  • AustralianAmy

    The judge didn’t decide that cultural differences are a valid excuse for rape. He merely decided that the rapist had grounds to appeal – which means that the case will be heard again. That’s not quite the same thing as the headline states.