The high turnout and overwhelmingly positive result of Australia’s voluntary postal plebiscite on same sex marriage enabled our parliament to enact marriage equality laws with public approval. The people had spoken, and the support was clearer than if politicians had made the decision alone. The parliament erupted with joy when the legislation passed.
However, there were concerns about the impact of the SSM bill on religious freedom. These persist. Attempts to modify the SSM bill to protect freedom of speech and religious beliefs got little support and amendments to the bill were voted down. O...
“The Hurstville Boys Campus of Georges River College in Sydney recently hosted an awards ceremony at which female presenters, including several accomplished and respected members of the local community, were told by one of the school’s two principals that some students would not shake their hands because of their Muslim faith.”
I think this is a serious error of judgement.
It sends a message to these young men that women are inferior and may be treated with disrespect.
If we wish to convince others that our ideology is superior, then firstly we must understand its concepts and its roots, and secondly we must live its truth.
We live in one of the most tolerant, prosperous and free societies in the history of mankind.
Our liberties are based on certain rights which have been developed and refined over many centuries. These include our rights to free speech; to our religious and political beliefs; to choose our friends and associates, and whom we may marry; to choose our occupation; to choose where we may live; to choose what we may eat or drink or wear; to choos...
At the Hizb ut-Tahrir conference in Sydney on 1 November 2015 speakers complained of the oppressive campaign of forced assimilation being waged against them by our government, evidenced by the requirement to sing the national anthem and pledge support for democratic values in the citizenship oath.
Hizb ut-Tahrir is an Islamic political party whose professed aim is to create a caliphate where all Muslims can live under sharia law. They believe that society should be governed by the rule of god not the rule of man, and are therefore opposed to democracy.
As a matter of principle, I think we should not denigrate people because we disagree with their views.
Formerly, many societies shared common cultural and religious beliefs. Nowadays most societies are pluralist. The political culture of such democratic societies is marked by a diversity of opposing and often irreconcilable, religious, philosophical and moral disciplines. It is important to realise and accept that such views can be reasonably held. Tolerance becomes a most important virtue.
For example, on the subject of abortion, some would contend that life begins at conception, others at bi...
Tolerance is an important virtue in a modern liberal democracy. This has been highlighted by the current brouhaha about ultra-Orthodox Jewish men refusing to sit next to women on planes.
Formerly, many societies shared common cultural and religious beliefs. Nowadays most societies are pluralist. The political culture of such democratic societies is marked by a diversity of opposing and irreconcilable religious, philosophical and moral disciplines. It is important to realise and accept that such views can be reasonably held.
Consequently there is a need to embrace often conflicting values. You...