Such is the contrast in the two sides of the political divide in Australia that Christians are growing in their concern for not only the broader issues of religious freedom but also the dynamics of the changes to the very fabric our entire nation was built on.
With a federal election just months away, the biggest issues don’t seem to stimulate enough informed debate. It would appear that if elected, the Labor Party want to extend the reach of Section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act to cover religion as well.
It’s reported that the plan would extend the reach of litigation based on Section 18c beyond race to also include people claiming they have been offended or insulted because of their religion – whether accidental or intentional.
It now appears that the Labor Party is moving to establish what some are calling “Sharia Law by stealth” in order to protect people from offending Islam.
Dr Augusto Zimmermann, a legal philosopher who is the Head Of Law at Sheridan College in Perth, joined Neil Johnson on Vision Christian Radio’s 20Twenty program to discuss this growing fear amongst the Australian Christian community.
The changes in the Law is “a push from academics and even members of the Party in parliament”, Dr Zimmermann says delving straight to the heart of the issue. “Basically, what they want to do is to not only maintain Section 18c, but they also want to expand the provisions to religious grounds so what we would have the equivalent of blasphemy law in order to protect Muslims from any sort of criticism.”
Why would anyone in their right mind want to introduce Sharia Law into Australian culture?
“The idea is that people cannot be criticised in their beliefs. Laws that make it a crime to offend someone on the grounds of just a comment can be used by the real intolerants. They can use the Law to prevent others from expressing ideas or opinions [that differ from their own].”
The way this is being ‘stealthy’ pushed through by those in the Labor Party, is by the belief that not offending people of the Islamic faith will decrease Australia’s risk of terrorist attacks, and thus protecting the Australian people.
Without free speech we cannot even have democracy in this country.
In the interview below, Neil and Dr Augusto Zimmermann continue talking about the particular people in the Labor Party pushing this agenda and what it means for Australian Christians and those who value the Judeo-Christian values our society was built on.
(Featured image credit: Shutterstock)