Clearly, I wasn’t really feeling happy about the year that had just passed when I wrote this…
Leading by Example – Muslims at the Forefront of Morality, Ethics and Integrity?
by Eugenia Flynn
Looking back over the year that has been 2009, I think we have all seen our fair share of ups and downs. For me, the ride of highs and lows is increasingly evident and hard-hitting within Indigenous Affairs. In February we had the one-year anniversary of the apology to the Stolen Generations – surely a good thing. More recently, however, we have seen the Federal Government’s refusal to re-instate the Racial Discrimination Act.
Not widely advertised, the Howard Government suspended the Racial Discrimination Act as part of the Northern Territory Intervention (what I and others like to call an Invasion). In turn, the Government has been able to discriminate against Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory.
This continues to today.
At the time of Invasion, there were a small number of Muslims who felt that the measures were good for Aboriginal people – making a statement on the morals and integrity of Islam, by wanting to see a ban on alcohol and pornography. Mostly, however, the majority of Muslims were completely apathetic to the plight of Indigenous Australians now having to live under these highly racist and extreme conditions – conditions that non-Aboriginal Australians do NOT have to live under. I find that this even more of a statement on the integrity and ethics of Muslims.
For me this is a great travesty. Not just because, as I talk about all the time, Muslims should be on the side of justice in this country and contribute to freedom for its First Peoples, but purely and simply because no matter the side benefits, suspending the Racial Discrimination Act – so the Government can legally be racist – is morally and ethically wrong.
We all live by morals and ethics and integrity in this world – as Muslims we are held to the highest standards and answerable to the only real Judge, Allah. However, I believe that as Muslims we must think about our morals and integrity in wider terms than those that affect our individual behaviour.
As the end of the year approaches, I ask us all to take a look back over the year that was 2009 and think about the year ahead. Let us ask ourselves, in 2010: What can our contribution be to Australia? What morals, ethics and integrity will we demonstrate to the world?
What kind of dawah will our actions give?
Something to muse on as we end another year in this dunya…