opinion

Is Sam Dastyari REALLY a Muslim? And if not, am I REALLY a Christian?

In case you missed it: On Monday night, Pauline Hanson sat next to Senator Sam Dastyari, a man born a Muslim, on ABC’s Q&A. Hanson clearly didn’t know about Dastyari’s religious heritage, and was surprised to discover it during the course of the program.

Watch how it played out here. Post continues below.

Video via ABC

On Tuesday, Dastyari faced an onslaught of what we could politely refer to as “questions” about whether or not he’s REALLY a Muslim.

These are just two of those tweets. There are many many others that are far too obscene for Mamamia to publish (and that’s saying something — we published a photo of a man with two penises in 2014.)

Dastyari clarified that he identifies as someone who was born a Muslim. And let’s just take a moment to appreciate this adorable photo of Sam as a five-year-old.

The online backlash Dastyari faced on Tuesday culminated in a story on The Daily Mail, featuring photos of him sharing a beer with Rosie Waterland and Jamila Rizvi.

The Daily Mail’s headline read, “Are you Muslim or not, Sam? Labor senator told Pauline Hanson he was a Muslim on Q&A. Now he says he’s ‘non-practising’… so how does he explain these photos of him swilling a cold Crown Lager?”

The image featured on Daily Mail, sourced through Twitter, is a screenshot from ABC's StoryHunters series What's Going On? Canberra. -- presented by Jamila Rizvi and Rosie Waterland

And here we have the massive double standard exposed, in full view. Christians don't get this question. People who claim a Christian heritage aren't asked to explain whether or not they're being honest about their family's history.

How can Dastyari truly be a Muslim if he drinks?

Well, friends, the same way I can be a Christian and have sex before marriage, actually conceive and birth a child before my now husband and I tied the knot. The same way I can be a Christian and drink and smoke and gamble. The same way I can be a Christian and be pro-choice. The same way I can be a Christian and work on the Sabbath, wear clothing made of two different fibers, refuse to submit to my husband, be seen in church with my head uncovered, support the ordination of women and in any number of other ways.

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The difference between Dastyari and I though, is that I consider myself practicing. Not only am I generally a sex loving, booze swilling, loudmouth, but I go to church on a Sunday morning and don't even confess those things as SINS.

Perhaps the saddest thing about this is that it's distracted us from Dastyari's central point -- that the politics of fear, hate and division will be what tears our nation apart.

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