Recently I watched a debate between Islamic youth leader Yassmin Abdel- Magied and Australian Senator Jacqui Lambie. In the debate, Lambie claimed that "anybody who supports Sharia law should be deported." Hold up a minute. What? Anyone who believes in a certain faith should be deported? WHAT? How can someone be turned away because they exercise their rights to freedom of religion? Even me, being raised in the south, has enough knowledge and goodness in my heart to know that faith is faith. Sharia law is not something Muslim people try to force on others. As I recall Sharia law states you must follow the law of the land you are in. It is not a part of government.
As Magied tries to explain her faith to Lambie, she is met with rude remarks and hateful comments. Is this how we want children to grow up? I don't want my child to ever be scared of another child or feel like they can't be their friend because they wear a hijab or because they believe in a different god. Magied goes on to defend herself by stating "My frustration is that people talk about Islam without knowing anything about it and they're willing to completely negate any of my rights as a human being, as a woman." Are we going to sit back and let people be stripped of there rights as citizens of a nation because of their faith? As I recall there are laws for that in most European and non-European nations including Austria, Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Italy, The United Kingdom, Australia, The United States of America, and many more nations around the world. Yet, these laws seem to become more questionable everyday, due to comments like the ones Lambie made inquiring about gay marriage and women's rights in Sharia law. I don't think people understand that there is separation of church and state for a reason. No one can force you to believe anything. That is a law.
I try to be so patient, but I watch as people, like Magied, who can barely talk about a subject that Lambie obviously knew nothing about because people will always listen to whoever yells the loudest. We preach about acceptance and loving one another, but then, to those who are fleeing violence, we cast stones, but we forget that by casting those stones, we, not just as Christians, but as people are sinning and persecuting innocent people, who fled to nations like Australia and The United States to escape just that. If we cast those stones and strip their rights to religious freedom, how are we any better than the nation they fled from?
Magied goes on to explain that "what is culture is different than what is faith." However, Lambie states, with a smug face, that there is "one law in this country and that is Australian law." Did she forget that section 1116 of the Australian constitution prohibits any legislation that would prohibit the free exercise of religion? I'll repeat that for the people in the back: free exercise of religion. Yes religion is something that is free to each person. It means something different to each individual. To me, faith is simply believing in the goodness of the world. There is not one set religion in Australia or any other free nation because faith is freedom, and when my child asks me why that little girl is wearing a hijab, I will gladly tell them they wear it because they are free to do so and it does not change their kindness, intelligence, humor, or their goodness because faith is faith and it comes in all different forms.