On Q&A last Monday, Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie stated: “We have one law in this country and it is the Australian law. It is not sharia law.” Before stating the self-evident truth, she suggested Muslims who support sharia law should be deported. We didn’t have the opportunity to hear Lambie’s rationale for that odd idea because Yassmin Abdel-Magied, a Muslim activist and ABC host, shouted over her. She complained that Lambie didn’t understand sharia.
Australians do not need to understand sharia. We are a secular liberal democracy with a 61 per cent Christian population. In the 2011 census, 22 per cent of Australians selected “no religion”. Muslims constitute 2 per cent of the population. If you want to understand Australian law, read the Constitution. If you want to understand Australian values, read the founding fathers. If you want to understand Australian faith, read the Christian Bible, Enlightenment thought, or both.
Abdel-Magied also claimed that Islam is the world’s “most feminist religion”. Feminists need Islam like the Enlightenment needs the Dark Ages. Witness Mohammed on women: “I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you.” What evidence did Mohammed provide to support his belief that women are stupid? They might be ungrateful to their husbands or curse at them. Many Koranic verses celebrate hatred of women: “Men have authority over women because God has made one superior to the other … Good women are obedient … as for those from whom you fear disobedience … beat them.” Islamic State celebrates its preferred Koranic verses, including that wellspring of feminism: “Marry … any slave girls you may own.”
Ah, yes, female sexual slavery — just smell the freedom, women.
I first read the Koran 15 years ago after a feminist group proposed endorsing Islam as a gesture of solidarity with Muslim women. After reading it, I advised that any endorsement should be qualified by an explicit rejection of misogynistic sections, such as the exhortation for men to beat women. It was the first time I was called Islamophobic.
Sharia defenders often try to refute plain evidence of Koranic misogyny by referring to poetic surahs or highlighting sexist quotes from the Bible. There is beauty in the Koran and ugliness in the Old Testament. But the critical point is that Christendom underwent centuries of bloody reform that culminated in the development of the secular state. The 21st-century West is enlightened and ruled by secular law while Islamic states across the world continue to be governed by sharia law and cultural codes.
As Ayaan Hirsi Ali pointed out in The Weekend Australian, when faced with the abuses of women living under sharia law in Islamic states, Abdel-Magied erects a distinction between sharia and politics. In Islamist states, it is a false distinction.
As Rick Morton revealed, Abdel-Magied believes there is a “religious imperative in the scripture to wear the hijab”. That scriptural imperative is codified in sharia laws across the world and women have been killed for refusing it. Yet on a recent trip to Iran, female politicians from Sweden’s socialist-Green government wore hijabs.
Adopting sharia-derived values would affect Western civilisation in profoundly negative ways. Consider the fundamental value of freedom. The Organisation of Islamic Co-operation defines human rights according to the Cairo Declaration, which permits our freedoms as long as they are not “contrary to the principles of the sharia”.
The Greens, whose members market themselves as champions of secularism, should logically denounce sharia law. Yet its leaders have criticised the free press for questioning Abdel-Magied’s claim that Islam is the most feminist religion. In the Greens’ warped minds, criticism of sharia constitutes racism.
Australians are tired of being called racist for defending our most essential values while the government throws public money at an activist media that undermines them. We are forced to pay for the ABC to ridicule patriots, smear conservatives and spin secure border policy as xenophobic.
How much anti-Australian propaganda will we be forced to endure during SBS’s #FU2Racism programming next week? Perhaps SBS will surprise us by using taxpayer funds to discuss the benefits of Enlightenment thought and the constitutional values that helped Australia resist 20th-century totalitarianism. Perhaps SBS has recruited leading classical liberals and conservatives to educate the nation about the greatness of Western civilisation, the Christian scriptural origins of the secular state, the hard-won legacy of the Reformation and the Enlightenment in a celebration of the free world. Perhaps it will contrast Australia’s egalitarian laws on race, ethnicity, gender and belief to those of Islamist and communist states. Perhaps it will conclude that the best antidote to racism is the Australian nation and citizens educated in the Western tradition.
And if SBS runs the usual anti-Western line, perhaps Communications Minister Mitch Fifield will propose new standards for publicly funded broadcasters to ensure greater political diversity in recruitment and promotion.
I suspect none of it will happen. Instead, the Liberals will continue to fund Islamic activism with our money. Labor will join the Greens to fight against better border security and immigration vetting. Fifield will stay silent as public broadcasters take apart Australia’s constitutional values on the public purse.
And, one by one, Australians will take the cue and cast their votes elsewhere because the enlightened West made its choice centuries ago. Like our forebears, we choose the light.