Saturday, December 22, 2007

COMMENT: Why Fred Nile should leave Australia …



Whether Fred Nile opposes the establishment of the Quranic Society's school in Camden is neither here nor there, as far as I'm concerned. For me, there are deeper questions. I think Fred Nile is a threat to our liberal democracy. Here's why.

Fred Nile has drawn the line. He has declared Australia to be a Christian country. He has also declared that we shouldn’t allow schools that reject Christian doctrines such as the divinity of Christ and the idea that Christ is the Son of God.

On that basis, I challenge Fred Nile to call for the closure of Moriah College. I call upon Rev Nile to hold a public meeting at St Ives which will support the closure of Masada College.

Jews, like their Muslim spiritual cousins, reject the doctrine of Christ’s divinity. Indeed, Judaism goes further. Whilst Muslims accept Jesus as God’s Messiah, Jews reject this notion.

So are we now going to say that Jewish schools are even more undesirable than Muslim ones?

Australia’s first Australian-born governor-general was a Jew. Jews have served in prominent positions at all levels of government, as well as in business, academia and the arts.

Muslims have also served in local and state governments, as well as in academia, the arts and business.

Believe it or not, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Druze, Bahais and followers of other faiths have also contributed to this nation. As have atheists and agnostics.

By sponsoring shadowy meetings and attracting racists and neo-Nazis from outside Camden to spread sectarian hatred, Nile is doing a grave disservice to the people of New South Wales.

Further, Nile’s antics are giving Christians a bad name. Christianity is an inclusive faith that teaches compassion, mercy and good will to all. Nile is preaching a message that has little or nothing to do with Christianity.

Some months back, neo-Con far-Right columnists and politicians were wondering why more Muslims weren’t calling for Sheik Hilaly to be silenced. I wonder whether they will be calling on Christians to silence Nile.

But unlike the Howards and Robbs and Costellos and Albrechtsens and Bolts of this world, I don’t subscribe to the Hitleresque doctrine of collective responsibility. Why should all Christians be held responsible for the mad senile rants of an ageing and increasingly irrelevant fundamentalist politician?

Let’s do some numbers. How many Australians tick the ‘Christian’ box on their census form? How many of these people voted for the Christian Democrats at the last Federal Election?

Need I say more? Here’s a claim that doesn’t need social research to back it up. The overwhelming majority of Australian Muslims and Christians and Jews and Sikhs and Hindus and Christians and people of other faiths and no faith in particular want to live in a country where people are free to believe and worship in any manner they wish. If Fred Nile and his gang of religious fruitloops cannot accept this, they should give up their Australian citizenship and set up their theocracy elsewhere.

Words © 2007 Irfan Yusuf

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4 comments:

Cardster said...

Tolerance does not seem to be in the silly Fred's vocabulary. He is a promoter of sectarian views primarily because it draws power into his pathetic uncharitable life. I would love for Christ to walk again on this earth in Sydney and drive Fred from the temple.

Fred shows why any organised religion is a man-made construct. Bishop Shelby Spong is one of the few religious leaders I respect. Others should follow this good, Christian man's example in tolerance, wanting to learn and developing his faith - should they believe.

The Rockstar Philosopher said...

Some months back, neo-Con far-Right columnists and politicians were wondering why more Muslims weren’t calling for Sheik Hilaly to be silenced. I wonder whether they will be calling on Christians to silence Nile.

When a person of repute in a community, says something on behalf of that community then it's up to other members of that community to come out and say "No, no, we don't support that". It doesn't matter who you are. Any church leader, or political leader for that matter, is ALWAYS on the record as a representative for their group.

So yes, Muslims should have come out and denounced Hilali, otherwise they are condoning the comments he made on their behalf. Christians (and "Australians" seeings as Nile is purporting to speak on all of our behalves) should be denouncing this vile man as well.

If someone of your faith says "My holy book says this" and you don't agree with it, then bloody oath it is your duty to respond to that. Just like I won't stand by and let my country be hijacked by nutjobs like Nile, Christians and Muslims should be doing likewise when religious leaders make stupid comments.

Think of it this way; The interaction most people in this country has with Islam is through the newspapers, ie. crazy right wingers saying "Islam teh devil1!11!", or crazy fundamentalists saying "death to the infidel!!!". Whose job is it to promote moderate Islam if not the moderate Muslims?

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