LETTER: Australia's welfare system is abused
IN RESPONSE to the letter composed by Ken Alderton titled 'Cartoon promotes misinformation about Muslims' (16/12).
I agree cartoons have a propensity to promote misinformation and I would go one step further and claim that they, at times, ridicule the subject.
Islamic family law comprises both similarities and variances to Australian law regarding marriage.
A crucial difference is in the status of polygamous marriages, which are invalid under Australian law but are lawful under the religious law of Islam.
This difference leaves the status of many Muslim women who are a subsequent spouse in a polygamous relationship as potentially that of a de facto partner.
Under S. 4AA of the Family Law Act 1975, in part, a de facto relationship can exist even if one of the persons is legally married to someone else or in another de facto relationship.
Thus polygamous marriages contracted overseas may be recognised under Australian law and informal polygamy may gain legal recognition as de facto relationships.
Not all Muslim males have multiple partners or rort our welfare system but some do.
In 2010, Centrelink confirmed it investigated up to 20 cases of multiple relationships, including polygamy.
It forced some families to repay the money.
I suggest the current laws are open to abuse, not only by Muslims but also by others.