It took me some time to work this out in my head. Like an hour or so.
A Moslem member of parliament was subjected to abuse and vitriol on his personal social media sites because he swore on the Koran, rather than the Christian Bible. The howls were long and loud and vitriolic. Well, I am not so keen on any religion, least of all the Moslem religion, but do I agree with the vocal masses?
The first thought that occurred to me, aren't there other non Christian members of parliament. Well, my local federal member is Jewish. What did he swear on? The only Jewish text book I know of is the Torah. Did Michael Danby MP swear on the Torah?
I am not blessed with great intelligence. I read widely but I forget almost every thing I read. However, my thought processes went further to a moment of clarity, such clarity not spoken of in the media.
The chap was swearing on a religious text, his religious text, allegiance to Australia. I really don't think you can ask much more than that. For him to swear allegiance on the Christian Bible would be completely false.
Unlike England with the Church of England connected to the Head of State who is head of Parliament, Australia is a secular society and has been for a long time. All religions are recognised and there is no Australian religion. Christianity may well be in our history, (tell that to our Aborigines or to Chinese gold miners) but it is not modern Australia.
Now if we can just get rid of the anachronistic Lords Prayer said at the beginning of each Parliamentary session, a much better and more realistic impression would be given.
Just to reinforce, Ed Husic MP swore allegiance to Australia using his own religious text. Allegiance to Australia are the key words.