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Are Aussies too biased to try this Muslim man?
by Janet Fife Yeomans and Peter Bodkin
Ismail Belghar is believed to be the first Muslim in Australia to be granted a judge-only trial on the grounds that a jury may be biased because of his religious beliefs.
The decision in the New South Wales District Court can be revealed after Belghar, 36, yesterday pleaded guilty to detaining and assaulting his sister-in-law after she "dared" to take his wife to the beach without his permission.
The court heard, because of his religious beliefs and because he thought he had absolute authority over her, Belghar felt it "abhorrent" that his wife, Hanife Kokden, had been to the beach where she "displayed her body".
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