My earliest school memory belongs with my friend Beshira a little Muslim girl. She used to sit in the library during scripture and after we became friends I started joining her. Religion never did anything for me and I didn’t like the idea of her being lonely so I told my teacher I wasn’t allowed to do scripture either.
Other than this I never knew there was anything different about us. We were best friends and she was the sweetest of girls. Never got caught up in bullying or the rubbish that little girls get up to of hurting each other and being unkind.
She may have eaten different food or disappeared for prayer time but I was never aware of it. We were just kids.
I can’t count how many times in my life I’ve had somebody try to indoctrinate me in the teachings of Jesus and yet never once has anybody approached me to pull me into the Muslim faith. I understand that religious orders fear for my soul and that their job is to convert, I’m ok with that I just politely say no thanks.
As an ethics teacher at Ari’s school I see Christian lobby groups try push us out of schools day after day for interfering with their attempt to educate our younglings. This I’m not ok with but I use the brain I was given.
And I realise that you know what, just as our country is never going to be 100% Christian, it’s not going to become an Islamic nation either. We cannot live in fear of something that is just not going to happen. We cannot persecute a religious faith because of a crazy few just the same as we can’t accuse all Catholics for some of the terrible things that have been done in their name.
I spent most of the evening upset by the illegible, misspelled rantings of the Reclaim Australia group who scare me far more than the people they hate. Calls for hangings, rapes and more were spewed out to anyone who disagrees with their message. I hate Facebook for bringing this toxic venom onto my page but it’s out there in my country and can’t be ignored.
As a third generation Australian, my family fled Germany during the Second World War. They were not Nazis and had as much hatred of Hitler an anyone. If we were to listen to groups like RA we would vilify them simply because they were German, couldn’t speak English and chose to socialise with their countrymen after a terrible ordeal.
I’m so tired of the fear and hatred in this country that I don’t even want to live here anymore. I’m glad that my friends are good people who believe in the rights of others not only the ones that speak English and drink beer. You guys are the ones I think about when I get upset. I hope things change and I try not to fear that they won’t because fear is what causes these messes in the first place.
Anyway thanks to my friend Beshira. Without knowing it our little friendship gave me many gifts that have hopefully made me into a person of true measure.