opinion

"Sonia Kruger, I am a Muslim immigrant. And I don't represent terror."

I am not terror.

I am a source of fear. I create terror. I advocate violence. I am not compatible with mainstream Australia.

I am also a law school graduate working to uphold justice in my State. I am the daughter of two doctors who, each day, work tirelessly to cure their patients. I am the sister of three young people who all desire to contribute to their community.

I am a Muslim immigrant.

Yet, I too was horrified by the incidents in France. I too condemned the cowardly attack in Orlando. I too prayed for the families affected by bombings in Brussels.

But my emotions, it would seem, are those of a second class citizen. My capacity as an individual capable of self-determination is not relevant in the eyes of Pauline Hanson who wonders if Islam “is a religion or a totalitarian political ideology.” My mere presence is enough to make Sonia Kruger fear for the safety of herself and her child. My arrival in Australia was a precursor to the destruction I will surely cause, says Andrew Bolt.

"I am also a law school graduate working to uphold justice in my State." Image supplied.

In the 2011 census, approximately 2.2% of the population, almost half a million people, identified as Muslim. The majority of these 500,000 people are good law abiding citizens who have a genuine commitment to Australia. The same can be said for the other 22.8 million people who live in Australia but are non-Muslim. On the whole, most of us value living in a democratic society where the rule of law is supreme.

Unfortunately for both demographics, Muslim and non-Muslim, not everyone is on the same bandwagon. Having been acquainted with the criminal justice system, I can resolutely say that crime knows no religion. The motivations of individuals are precisely that, individual. They are context specific. Usually, they are also unjustified and based on a distorted understanding of what was right and fair in the circumstances.

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Hypothetically, if a study were done that concluded that Caucasian males were most likely to kill their female partners, should this mean that all Caucasian males should be prevented from immigrating to Australia because they constituted a threat to females?

The hashtag #AsAMother started trending on Twitter, in response to Sonia Kruger's comments today. It would seem lots of other mothers don't agree.

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It is an absurd proposition but it is analogous to the calls from Conservative members of Australian media to ban Muslim immigration. This defies logic when the foundation of our legal system is that all persons are innocent until proven guilty. You should not doubt an entire group of people’s moral character based on a common characteristic. You may begin to regret it once the idea of pre-emptive judgment begins to grow and suddenly, because of an innocuous affiliation or characteristic, you are exiled from the community you call your own.

The context that is slowly being created in Australia is not one that engenders cross cultural cooperation. It is one that encourages Australians like myself to reconsider our identities and ask: Who am I? Once you alienate us and make us feel as though we are no longer affiliated with the wider population, there is little motivation left to contribute and fight for the values of this beautiful country.

Please help me and others in my community believe that I can be both Muslim and Australian.

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