The real reason we want to ban Muslim migration


Last week a lot of us were talking about the Essential poll  which showed that 49% of Australians wanted a ban on Muslim immigration1  Like many, I assumed that the reason was the  association of Islam with terrorism in popular thinking,  but a closer look at the data suggests another story.  Those who supported a ban on Muslim immigration were asked the  main...

Why Pauline Hanson is Wrong. Muslims in Australia


Pauline Hanson and One Nation are back, attracting 4.1% of Senate votes in the recent federal election. A key plank of the One Nation platform is a halt to Muslim immigration, a Royal Commission into Islam, a ban on women’s head coverings and a ban on halal product certification. So what are the facts on Muslims in Australia? Muslims are and will remain a small section of the Australian...

Time to Tell the Positive Stories About Muslims


I have a friend who is a pastor in one of the most fundamentally Islamic parts of Indonesia. A few years back he was in Australia for a conference when news broke of an outbreak of violence against Christians in his hometown. Churches were being burned to the ground and an angry mob was bent on destruction. My friend, worried for the safety of his wife and newborn child, was about to set off for...

Is Islam inherently violent?


In Tuesday’s mail I received a nine page typed critique of a sermon I preached recently on refugees and asylum seekers. It was clear that my critic was very unhappy with a number of things, including my assertion that we had nothing to fear from Muslim immigrants. Islam, he strongly implied, was inherently violent, a claim I often hear. Now any of us can selectively quote the Koran to...

I don’t want to live in a tolerant society


Fear of the other has always marked human society. In response to this I frequently hear calls for us to be “tolerant” of those who are different. I don’t think tolerance is capable of overcoming fear. To tolerate something suggests that it is distasteful, that I’ll keep myself as far removed from it is possible but put up with it for the sake of maintaining some greater...

Why I Support Halal Certification


For some time I have heard assertions that fees paid for halal certification on food are being used to fund terrorism. The ABC recently ran a fact check that exposed this as untrue. Muslim diets require that certain foods be prepared in certain ways. Halal certification identifies food products that meet these requirements. This benefits Muslims by helping them easily identify foods they can...

Aussie Jihadists, the KKK, and Bikie’s


“How can I know I’ll be safe when I’m walking down the street?” asked a young woman on last night’s Q and A program.  She was referring to radicalised Islamic young men who had had their passports cancelled in order to prevent them going to fight with ISIS.   Her question reflects the  anxiety in our community at present about  the threat posed by  our own citizens...

A time to stand shoulder to shoulder with Australian Muslims


The great environmentalist David Suzuki has spoken of the shame he experienced when as a Canadian of Japanese descent, he and his family were incarcerated in their homeland during WWII. Being of Japanese heritage they were viewed with suspicion, so untrustworthy they had to be locked up. This experience was so damaging that Suzuki spent his teenage years saving for a plastic surgery operation to...

The New Bigotry


In recent weeks Facebook has been filled with anti-Muslim diatribes. They all share the conviction that there is only one form of Islam in the world, that it aims at the imposition of islamic law on all people, and is not afraid to resort to violence to achieve this objective. Anyone who is a committed Muslim is seen to share this conviction, and if they appear not to it is simply a clever ruse...

Is Australia Being Islamicised?


One of the objections I commonly hear to both taking in asylum seekers and our wider immigration program is a fear that we are being  Islamicised. This reflects a worry that most Muslims, if they had the chance, would vote to see sharia law imposed on the Australian population; that Muslims bring with them a violent culture; and/or that Muslim people simply won’t integrate into Australian...

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