Haters are going to hate: The latest round of xenophobia in Australia

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.


2 thoughts on “Haters are going to hate: The latest round of xenophobia in Australia

  1. Thanks for this, Moth.

    It was timely in that I have just been watching a program on Compass called Fashion and Faith which included a couple of enterprising young fashion designers in western Sydney providing an opportunity for Muslim women to have access to clothing more suited to the Australian lifestyle and climate. Not the sort of program that would normally capture my attention, but it did – and it did so because every example like this demonstrates clearly that to be Australian does NOT mean you have to be an Anglo-Celt and a Christian whatever the shock jocks and boneheads like Gaynor may think.

    The diversity within our society SHOULD be reflected in our parliament – that’s what democracy means to me and it strengthens my personal commitment to multiculturalism.


    1. My wife spotted something about that on ABC iView. I couldn’t agree more. It’s especially hypocritical for westerners to be xenophobic in Australia. I mean, “westerners” implies immigration in Australia.

      Australia is built from many cultures and the freedom to express different cultures (noting that those most often complaining that they are vilified tend to be the same that see themselves as the primary view within the country… yes, I’m looking at you, Christianity).


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