Barnaby: “Am I a bigot? No…”

21 May

Placard at No Carbon Tax rally - Port Macquarie

Senator Joyce in today’s Australian:

No Place For Sharia Law Here

Let me put my cards on the table. Women can wear what they like to the beach so long as they’re wearing something. I enjoy having a beer with my mates at Sydney’s Watto Bay pub where we can talk about God’s beautiful creations as they walk by.

I take people as they come and, call me old-fashioned if you like, but I quite like the idea that we are all equal before the law.

But sometimes naivete in Australia knows no bounds and when I hear someone justifying the introduction of sharia law while enjoying the benefits of the rights this country recognises I get upset.

Our grandads did not fight for some religious, unelected body to impose themselves on my freedom, stone adulterers or create a stratified society.

I know this is a Judeo-Christian society and I respect that when I go to Saudi Arabia it is not.

If you slipped a development application into Riyadh Council for a Catholic church on the corner of King Fahad and Mecca roads, you would be waiting some time for a reply. Am I a bigot? No, just holding desperately to the separation of mosque and state here.

When Maria Vamvakinou, federal member for Calwell in Melbourne, says sharia law should be “part of the debate”, she might think she is the shining orb of new-age light. But some of us have a soft spot for the Enlightenment.

I applaud Attorney-General Robert McClelland in his immediate stand against this nonsense, which goes beyond political allegiances; this is about who we are. So where are our little green friends on this issue? After all, they have a lot to lose if theocracy is allowed to triumph over freedom.

Under sharia law, gay marriage would be another excuse for a good public stoning. How many Islamic countries are introducing a carbon tax?

Contrast the Greens’ silence on this with the furore on Monday’s Q&A about the evils of state school chaplains. The Greens are happy to muscle up against Christianity but for some reason barely engage Islam, except when Greens senator-elect Lee Rhiannon marches with Taj Din al-Hilali at a “boycott Israel” rally. Perhaps they don’t believe in giving all believers equal opportunity or perhaps they are just worried about jihad-inspired retribution.

You get the feeling that in pre-Reformation Germany, the Greens would have been silent on Martin Luther’s 95 theses, preferring instead to rail against the injustice of the trees that were chopped down to create the door of the Wittenberg church.

I hope Australia’s attention is clearly focused in dealing with this issue. If it isn’t, then in a couple of years it will be prescribed that I cannot say I dissent.

That is the end game for the civilisation that gave us Mozart, penicillin, equality of men and women, the man on the moon, Shakespeare, habeas corpus, Hemingway, splitting the atom, James Joyce, electricity, man-made flight, locomotion, Jimi Hendrix – actually let’s include the stockmarket, the mechanical wheat harvester and iPads.

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