Christian bookstore ‘blocked’ from store due to Islamic law
A Christian book store has been blocked from selling books that have been banned by Islamic law.
Key points:The store has received threats from a man with a ‘big beard’ in Melbourne’s CBD, which has led to a police siegeThe store is selling books by prominent Australian authors including author Philip Pullman, but the owners say it will not be selling them on Christmas DayThe store’s owner has vowed to fight the banThe owners of a Melbourne Christian bookstore have been threatened by a man who is said to have a beard.
The owner, Matthew Barnes, said the man, who is not known to police, has been threatening to burn down the store and has written a number of letters.
“He has said that he wants to kill the owner, the owner’s family, the entire staff, and the whole store,” Mr Barnes said.
“We have no choice but to defend ourselves, and we are doing so by going into a police station.”
He said the store has also received threatening phone calls.
“One man said that if we didn’t shut down, we would be next,” he said.
He said he would not be able to sell the books, which are by prominent authors including Philip Pullmains books, because he would be committing “sharia law”.
“We are not allowed to sell it because we are selling it by a person who is under the threat of death, so that’s the reason why we have been shut down,” he told ABC News Breakfast.
The store was shut down in October, after receiving threats from the man.
“This man has written to the owner saying that if the owner of the bookstore does not shut down this store, he would burn the store down,” Mr Warren said.
Mr Barnes said the owner had said he was not planning on selling the books on Christmas, but had promised to fight.
“The owner of this store has said he is going to fight us on Christmas day,” he explained.
“If the owner refuses to stop his threats, he will burn down this church and his property.”
He also said the threats had been “very personal”.
“He’s been telling us that he’s going to take out a gun on us, he’s calling the police, and that’s what he’s telling us.”
He did not know if the man was threatening to harm the owner or other staff.
“I don’t know if that’s true or not, but we have heard it is,” he added.’
No way’ to be in stores if banned by lawThe man is said not to have an Australian address, but Mr Barnes told ABC Radio Melbourne the store was selling books from a number that were banned by Australian Islamic law and that the shop was “going to fight them” on Christmas Eve.
“All we can do is keep trying to get our books in the shops,” he argued.
Mr Warren said the shop would not sell anything that was deemed to be a “defamatory or offensive work”.
“Our goal is to keep our books here and to sell them for Christmas,” he insisted.
“Our intention is to make sure that all the books are coming in for sale.”
The owner said he had received threats and that he would fight the banned books.
“No way, we will not have the books in store,” he declared.
“But we will do whatever we can to try and get them in.”
Mr Barnes was asked if he would also try and sell books banned by another Australian law.
“Yes,” he replied.
“They are coming into Australia, and it’s just not going to work,” he concluded.
“That’s why we’re going into the police station.
We’ll see what happens.”
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