This week I’m going to be keeping it fairly brief and serious.
In recent days ISIS has seen fit to murder hundreds of innocent people in both Paris and Lebanon. They claim their actions are in strict keeping with their religious beliefs and with the blessings of their god.
They are lying.
They are cowards.
They are wrong.
What these maniacs are doing is murdering innocents. They are extremists. They have no true religion other than hatred. They seek to make us all terrified to live our lives in freedom. They seek to start an unholy war.
I will not allow them.
And yet already there are growing whispers again that we should fear our Muslim brothers and sisters. That we should close our borders and send them home. That we should boycott companies that sell halal food and be afraid of these people building schools in our communities.
These whispers are wrong.
These whispers are dangerous.
ISIS are targeting the disenfranchised youth. They are selling them their wares and asking them to carry out hate fuelled acts of violence.
Reclaim Australia groups are also targeting our impressionable youth with calls to drive out Muslims and march in violent, hate-filled rallies.
In my eyes both of these groups are dangerous.
In my opinion any organisation who seeks to rally others into hating and harming another should be stopped. These parties hide behind the cloaks of religion or fundamentalism but they are only extremists acting out the true violence of their nature.
So I wish to say with all my heart that I ache for all those families who have lost someone due to the violence of ISIS. But I would urge them to not reciprocate with hate against all Muslims.
Most Muslims who live amongst us just want the same things that we do. They want a job, a family, safety and security to practice their beliefs without fear of being persecuted.
I refuse to turn against these people because of the actions of a few who claim to act in accordance with their god’s wishes.
Just like I refuse to believe that all Catholics enjoy raping children just because some of their clergy did.
I refuse to believe that all Germans agreed with Hitler’s objective of annihilating the Jews.
I refuse to believe that all Americans agreed with the slaughter of their Native American Indian brothers and sisters.
At times like these we have to remember that we are all people living with our own beliefs and ideals. We are also people who have the same hearts, souls, hopes and dreams as just about everyone else in the world. We are all equal irrespective of race, religion, gender or ideology. We all love. We all fear. We all rejoice. We all mourn. We are just humans – nothing more and nothing less. We are all the same despite our differences.
We must not lose sight of that.