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Throw another shrimp on the barbee, as they say in Australia. Or do they?

Second Australian charged over brutal Sharia law whipping

A second Sydney man has appeared in court on multiple charges over an assault in which a Muslim convert was allegedly whipped with an electircal cable for drinking alcohol, in what prosecutors said was a misguided interpretation of sharia or Islamic law.

Another Australian man has been charged over an alleged brutal sharia law whipping of a man for drinking at a pub.

Wassim Fayad, 43, charged with aggravated breaking and entering with intent to commit an indictable offense, is one of four men accused of breaking into the victim's home and restraining him in his bed while whipping him with an electric cord 40 times for half an hour.

He was also charged with detaining a person in company with intent to obtain advantage and two counts of stealing from a dwelling, Australian Associated Press reports.

Fayad allegedly broke into the unit with the intent "of inflicting a punishment in accordance with his religious beliefs and the confirmation of his standing in the community", court documents said.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard said on Wednesday there is no place for religious punishments in Australia.

"There is only one law in this country — the law of Australia. That's what binds us together and everybody has got to abide by that law," she said.

Police allege Fayad stole a CCTV hard drive and a quantity of Budweiser beers from Mr Martinez's residence during the attack.

Tolga Cifci, 20, was charged on Tuesday with the same offenses. Neither man has entered a plea. If convicted, they face a maximum penalty of 20 years.

In granting bail on Wednesday, Magistrate Tim Kebby ordered Fayad to stay away from the alleged victim, Christian Martinez, saying the attack was "quite particular, arising from religious motivation", Associated Press reports.

The case has attracted much media attention after it was alleged that Martinez, 31, was a recent convert to Islam and was assaulted on Sunday in his bed in the middle of the night because he had been drinking alcohol at a pub.

Islamic Sharia laws, which prohibit alcohol, recommend whipping as a punishment for several offenses.

The court heard that Martinez was known to Fayad.

Cifci, a Muslim, was born and raised in Australia. Fayad is married and has six children.

Use of this supposed sharia punishment shows a "complete and utter disregard for the laws of this particular state," according to George Lolis, the police prosecutor in the case.

He said Cifci chose a “particularized usage of religious law” to justify his part in the attack.

Lolis said the victim allegedly was targeted for “doing what many in the community do all the time,” but Cifci viewed it as “something against Islam.”

The court also heard that a search of the accused's home uncovered an item “similar to a whip”.

The case will be back before the Sydney courts on September 14.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/down-under/sharia-law-under-legal-spotlight-after-assault-claim