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Why practicing Muslims should be barred from public office

Section 44 of the Australian constitution states that any person “under any acknowledgment of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power”… “shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or a member of the House of Representatives.”

Once upon a time, this section would have proven relevant for would- be German, or Japanese politicians who could prove hostile to Australia.

But now, Germany and Japan are reliable allies, and the nature of Australia’s enemies have changed.

After decades of conflict with Al Qaeda, current conflict with Islamic State, 5 terror attacks at home and many more foiled, should there be any doubt as to who this enemy is?

Regardless of whether one calls it radical Islam, political Islam, militant Islam, or otherwise, Australia’s position in conflict with this adversary is indisputable.

But the time has come to take a meaningful stand, and to demand that section 44 of our constitution is enforced.

To understand why such action would be appropriate, the doctrine of Islam is first worth considering.

Through following religious commandments, Muslims are commanded to wage war against disbelievers, through violent or non- violent means. Islam seeks to dominate every aspect of our society and ultimately implement the Sharia, a system of governance totally incompatible with our constitutional monarchy.

These are callings to Muslims reinforced by teachings in the Quran and varying Hadiths, the example of Muhammad, as well as by the many caliphates that have come since. In recent times, the strength of the global Ummah (Muslim community), has been reflected in the unified opposition of the Islamic world towards Israel, and most infamously, in the thousands of jihadists who travelled to join Islamic State in Syria.

Whether a Muslim lives in America, Australia, or Malaysia, common interests of the Ummah are reaffirmed through widely held Muslim viewpoints on free speech, apostasy, and homosexuality.

Clearly, as the Ummah surpasses national borders and ethnic/ cultural barriers, Islam is transcendent in nature, making practicing Muslims more than just ordinary citizens.

Our constitution intended to prevent those who had ‘allegiance’ or ‘obedience’ to a ‘foreign power’ from gaining public office, to prevent treacherous polices from being enacted against the Australian people.

No serious individual can properly understand Islam, and pretend there is no clash between core Islamic teachings on jihad, and an unswerving loyalty to Australia.

And yet, Australia has freedom of religion implied in its constitution. How can we reconcile with this dilemma?

For potential Muslims seeking public office, it is not enough for us to assume their faith and loyalty to Australia are seamlessly intertwined. Because as I explained above, genuine understanding of Islamic teachings only leads to conclude otherwise.

As Ben Carson implied in December 2015, potential Muslim politicians should be asked whether they bare allegiance to the Australian country and its people, above Islam, Sharia, and the geopolitical goals of the OIC, in order to distance themselves from the literal practice of their faith. For pledging allegiance in rhetoric is one thing, but pledging your loyalty above the distasteful characteristics of Islam, is another. Considering Islam is the great ideological foe of Western civilization, aspiring Muslim politicians should pledge their devotion to Australia before faith, as an absolute minimum requirement.

Is this a perfect solution to the problem of potential Islamists gaining public office? No, but any shift towards properly enforcing this important section of our constitution, would be better than the status quo.

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