Yesterday, Ed Husic became Australia’s first Muslim frontbencher. He took his oath of office on the Koran.
Apparently, many Aussies have gone on a haters spree over the action.
Firstly, I’m non-religious, so I don’t care. I couldn’t take an oath over any book and while the exercise is supposed to mean the oath is thus done before the eyes of a certain god, I’ve seen enough poor behaviour from religious people, in the name of their god and philosophy to conclude that such an action is meaningless.
Moreover, isn’t a god supposed to be omnipresent? How many gods have the power to forgive any sin – including not living up to such oaths? Such musings leave traditions like this a little weak.
That said, Mr Husic is a Muslim. Would any of the haters like to take an oath over the Koran? I suspect not. So why should Ed do so over the Bible? Would anyone seriously think that an oath in the sight of the “wrong” religion would be of value to oath-taker in relation to their religious commitment?
More disturbing than this is the obvious Christian flare. It’s Gaynor’s “Christian Australia” which has no place in the public sector and ought to remain at best, the private pursuit of the individual in their own space. If such oath-traditions are to be carried out, let the oath-taker do so over their philosophy and get back to their religious traditions in private.
Haters over this action are an embarrassment to Australia and do nothing to improve the xenophobe image that we tend to export to the world.