And the dill of the month award goes to…Danna Vale!
Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone has lambasted a Liberal Party colleague for warning an abortion pill could help Australia become a Muslim nation.
Danna Vale yesterday backed moves for parliament to retain power of approval over the controversial abortion-inducing pill RU486.
Ms Vale argued that retaining the parliament’s powers would stop Australia from aborting itself out of existence and ultimately becoming a Muslim nation.
Senator Vanstone says Ms Vale had no understanding of Australia’s immigration program.
When even right wing immigration ministers come out against you, well…
See the Sydney Morning Herald for more.
See some immigrtion stats for some perspective
One thought on “Muslim Peril?”
One of the awkward problems for Danna is the source she drew upon when remarking how Australia will become a Muslim nation in the future. Her point of reference was a sermon from the Imam at the Lakemba mosque.
The basic hope or aspiration for devout Muslims is that they would love to see Australians become Muslims. They believe their religion is the truth, and are firm in their conviction that Islamic faith is wonderful, and that Australia’s social woes could be overcome by following this faith.
Danna relied on the sermon to stimulate alarm that if reproduction numbers are dropping (or impacted by the RU486 tablet), then we will by default become a Muslim nation. She does not show any critical reflections like: “what is the evidential and sociological value of the Imam’s sermon?” “What is the difference between sociological reality and the rhetoric of a religious teacher?” “Are we supposed to accept at face-value that the Imam’s hopes in the sermon are inevitable?”
Apart from the illogic of her argument, namely correlating abortion statistics to the ideals of an Imam at a mosque, it is sad to see how social discourse about faith in this country easily descends into “us vs. them” rhetoric.
Now, does the general public feel alarmed when similar aspirations to convert Australians are made by the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, or by the Senior Minister at Hillsong? An ideal, a goal or aspiration to see a country won to a faith, does not mean that the intentions of the group will necessarily be realised. The fact that the Archbishop or Hillsong pastors aspire to converting the nation of course does not necessarily mean they shall be successful, anymore than the Imam. Australian culture is complex and Australian attitudes to formal religion are often ambiguous and indifferent.
Yes it is true that in France more people attend mosques on a weekly basis than in churches; and the same holds true in Germany. Yes it seems that many Muslims love to have children, and opt for larger sized families than the “nuclear family”. Much of the growth in Islamic statistics in the West is due to family reproduction/generational transfer of faith and immigration. Conversions from the Anglo-based population also occur, and often in inter-marriages.
However, the problem with Danna’s position is that she assumes the aspirational rhetoric of the Imam is coterminous with an inevitable future.
Yes, her remarks were not only embarrassing and silly, but regrettably have arisen in a climate of imagined fear and perceived social tensions. It is a pity that Danna has not had the opportunity of attending a church where a robust sense of understanding culture, history, sociology and missions neatly dovetail into a mature expression of Christian faith.
If anything is to be gleaned from the Imam’s hopes, it is that there is some degree of confidence among local Muslims that their faith can make a difference in Australia. Its a pity then that too many church goers have so poor an understanding of Australians that as church attendances decline, there seems to be a lack of confidence in living a dynamic faith in Christ that meaningfully connects with the wider facets of society.