Religious Freedom protected in Australia

This week I was directed to a Facebook post which asked people to vote on banning Muslim immigration to Australia. It follows a recent opinion poll on the same topic, leading to global headlines that fifty percent of the population support a ban. The poll surveyed 1000 people, with 49% in favor. That’s 490 people, about 0.002% of the Australia population.

Religious Freedom is part of the Australian Constitution. This can only be changed if a bill is passed in parliament and a referendum then endorses that bill. None of the political parties represented in the current parliament support such a change. In addition Australia is, like most counties, a signatory to two United Nations declarations that endorse the right to religious freedom.

There is therefore no evidence that a statistically significantly number of Australians believe in restricting immigration on the basis of religion and no immediate path to implement any such changes.

Two centuries ago a bunch of convicts stole a continent. The majority of their descendants believe in welcoming others, with a quarter of current residents born overseas. Their chosen national anthem contains the words, “For those who’ve come across the sea, We’ve boundless plains to share.” That is the message that should be projected to the rest of the world, not the opinions of a few misguided individuals.





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