The Australian wing of the global Islamic political party Hizb ut-Tahrir has been found guilty of “discriminating against women” for allegedly “making” them sit at the back of public events.
The landmark finding came yesterday after journalist Alison Bevege took HT to the Equal Opportunity Tribunal and won.
During a public meeting in Western Sydney, men were seated at the front and women were directed to sit behind them, which is not uncommon at Islamic events.
Ms Bevege said: “If you want to have a public meeting in Australia you cannot have Sharia gender segregation at a public meeting.
“Their trying to normalise gender segregation, it’s in their constitution, but this sends a strong message.”
HT was founded by Palestinian jurist and scholar Taqiuddin An-Nabhani in 1953. The group works for the re-establishment of the Caliphate via non-violence in the Muslim world.
Muslim activists described Alison as an Islamophobe on social media, and criticised Australian law could not dictate the religious affairs of its members at rallies.
In its decision, the Tribunal found HT guilty of “unlawful discrimination on the grounds of sex” and its leader Ismael al Wahwah personally responsible for the discriminatory conduct against women.
From now on, Hizb ut-Tahrir must display notices making it clear women can sit where they like and their ushers cannot force women to the back of the room.
HT issued an official statement in response to the Tribunal’s ruling earlier today.