Published in Right Now Inc: Human Rights in Australia, 5 March 2013
According to the 2011 National Census, Christianity remains as the largest religious group in Australia, while other groups – Hinduism (1.3 per cent), Islam (2.2 per cent) and Buddhism (2.5 per cent) – make up the larger portion for non-Christian groups. Although our society is blessed with many diverse faiths, experience has shown that religious leaders use their position to denounce other faiths.
Some religious philosophies may conflict with others, but it is important to remember all faiths have their unique values and customs, and many people regard religion as an integral part of their lives. To sustain a harmonious society, a multi-faith society should be strongly supported.
In 2010, Reverend Fred Nile, the leader of the Christian Democratic Party, introduced a Bill to parliament to ban the burqa, following in the footsteps of France. Nile claimed the burqa “is not part of our culture and tradition” and that is a symbol of oppression. Although he was not successful, this is an example where a religious leader exercised political influence and power in an attempt to discourage other religious practices…click here to continue reading