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New Muslim lashed for drinking in Australia

world Updated: Jul 19, 2011 14:48 IST

AFP
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An Australian convert to Islam was pinned down and lashed 40 times for drinking alcohol by a group of Muslim men who broke into his home to punish him for breaking sharia law, a court heard on Tuesday.

The man, 31, was allegedly restrained and whipped with a cord in his Sydney house on Sunday morning by four men who forced their way in after he went out for drinks with friends.

One of the four, Tolga Cifci, 20, appeared in court on charges of aggravated break and enter and committing a serious indictable offence.

Prosecutor George Lolis said Cifci saw the man's drinking as "something against Islam" and justified his actions with a "particularised usage of religious law".

He showed "complete and utter disregard for the laws of this particular state", Lolis said.

Cifci was bailed on condition he not leave home without his parents, obey a night-time curfew, surrender his passport and steer clear of the alleged victim. He will return to court in September.

No other charges had yet been laid over the incident but police said investigations were continuing.