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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