In the past couple of weeks, we have seen some things in this Nation of ours which are gravely contrary to the idea of who we are.
We have seen our Police Officers fighting for their lives – yes – fighting for their lives in a Melbourne Street. They were fighting a man who acted in the name of Allah; the purpose of this man was to take as many Australian lives as he could before he was killed; because he prayed that he would be killed, so that he could be released from the sheer misery of his life in our country.
And, good riddance to him. May he be safe in the arms of Allah.
Islam is one of the leading religious faiths of humankind. Second only to Christianity – regarding numbers of worshippers.
Islam has been in Australia since the earliest days of our settlement. Afghan camel drivers throughout Northern South Australian and the Northern Territory were Muslims…Islam and Muslims have been with us in this country from the beginning. We have all lived peacefully together; respecting each other; going about our lives in our respective communities.
Religious tolerance is not uniquely Australian, nor should it be, but an understanding of others and respect for their way of life is a characteristic of Australia: we usually live and let live, do we not?
At least that has been Australia that I, and my children, have known and it works for us, and it works for millions of other Australians; with some extraordinary exceptions.
And what are those exceptions? May you well ask?
I give you an example of an extraordinary exception.
A majority of Elected Parliamentarians in the Lower House of the Tasmanian Parliament and in the Northern Territory’s Legislative Assembly, have decided, in an hysterical “ Road to Damascus “ moment; that they have the power to legislate biology out of existence. In their world of mystery and magic, gender is no longer evident at the birth of a human child – the parents can deny the gender of the child by not recording the details on the Birth Certificate – or the child itself can make decisions, about its gender, when it is old enough to do so. The intellectual arrogance of this nonsense is amusing, and I wait to see what the Upper House of the Tasmanian Parliament does with this matter.
This is not live and let live stuff; this is human arrogance born in the mould of the King Canute performance when the poor bugger stood on the beach and commanded the tide stop coming in – it didn’t, and the King left with wet feet.
I shall give you another example of an extraordinary exception.
Some corporate workplaces, particularly our sizeable public service institutions, and by no means all of them, have become difficult, and, in some cases, unpleasant places in which to work. Formal complaints of bullying and sexual harassment decorate the walls of these particular toxic chambers, and good men and women are suspended from work, from duty or their specific daily tasks while lengthy, spiteful investigations meander on and on. Reputations and careers are trashed without any thought of personal consequences, the evidence is nearly always subjective and not necessarily corroborated.
It is not hard to conclude that we are becoming a nation of victims. I do not suggest that hard examples of workplace bullying and sexual harassment do not occur, it has always been thus; nor am I suggesting that these matters should go unpunished. I am suggesting that we, collectively, have made it easier for malice and pettiness play a large part in some of these matters – and that allows for wastage of time, of resources and human potential. Ambitions are destroyed, personal initiative is shelved, and instead of a pleasant, productive environment, we are left with a festering mess where spite, mean spirits and revenge grow in moulds like grubby little fungi.
I am forced to ask myself, what do these complainants hope to gain? The answer escapes me – I am not able to determine what they want, and, I suspect, neither do they! They do it because they can which is precisely the worst reason for doing anything.
This is not live and let live stuff. This is entitlement behaviour at its worst
I hold the view that Australia is a marvellous nation; a place where equality comes naturally. We are not burdened with a lingering class system like many other countries; there are no powerful tribal chiefs or sheiks to whom we owe obedience or tributes. We are our own men and women. We engage the world with confidence in our eyes: a level gaze which signals honesty of purpose, an openness of spirit and a willing capacity to listen to other people.
In my opinion –this is who we are.
Not the intolerant, noisy, self-centred and selfish mob of entitled and precious beings who seem to dominate the pages of our print media and the screens of our televisions.
They do not seem like Australians to me.