No, she wasn't. Increase in terrorism or not, banning Muslim immigration into Australia wouldn't prevent fundamentalist acts, it would increase them exponentially.
If Muslims were starting to become a little suspicious of Australians prior to being labelled—intentionally or not—'haters' of this country, how long do we think it'd be before many become outright enemies after their fellow believers are banned from this nation?
All Sonia's solution would do is justify the fundamentalist Muslims' message to young, impressionable and disgruntled minds that 'all non-believers are untrustworthy, contrary, and destructive infidels'. Our culture would be demonised as exclusive and hate-filled, and freedom of speech and belief proven false.
Although Sonia has her heart in the right place and is understandably shaken in light of recent worldwide terrorism, her solution is simplistic, short-sighted and downright dangerous.
Who to exclude?
Suggest all the tightening of the laws you want—I think most of us (including Muslims) would be for excluding and expelling those who believe any form of violence and extremism should have any place in this nation's way of life. However, don't create a law which won't distinguish between those who hold to extremist beliefs, actions and confession, and those who don't but still believe in Islam.
Otherwise, where will we draw the line? Last month Donald Trump—himself a proponent of banning Muslims from entering America—drew a wider circle, citing the recent terror attacks in Germany and France as sufficient reason for the US to ban everyone from those countries! "Madness!" you say? It certainly is. But this will always be the result of an inherently racist form of discrimination which sacrifices facts and reason on the altar of fear and ignorance.
But let's leave out whole races of people and even nations for a moment and reduce it to the level of the individual. For there are many in this country who aren't Muslim, yet are angry, bitter people who spout their own form of vitriol and who exclude others based off of selfish discrimination and small-mindedness. Shall we stop them from immigrating as well? And if so, how will we discover these people?—for don't we also find the traces of such things in ourselves?
All are guilty
If we plan to exclude people, shouldn't we consider the great harm that comes from other actions and their offenders? Let's start with ourselves: How many of us have lied? Become angry with or wished ill upon others? Lusted when we should've loved? Or used or excluded others for our own gain?
Then, according to Jesus, our hatred makes us murderers (1 John chapter 3, verse 15), our lust, adulterers (Matthew chapter 5, verse 28), and our exclusiveness, selfish, cowardly, disobedient hypocrites. Without realising it, we have become as immoral and harmful as 99% of the friendly and peace-loving Muslims who also call this planet home.
So should we leave our nation? No, of course not. Otherwise all peoples everywhere would be banned, not only from homelands, but our planet. This reveals an alarming truth because it's the very stones we're ready to throw at others which reveal the pollution of our own hearts and the danger our own lives pose to others. This danger may primarily be spiritual in nature, but the end result is always physical; whether it be through a breakdown in the family unit due to adultery, or the breaking of any other kind of relationship through anger and selfishness.
These kinds of physical actions may not be on the same level as murder, but their harm is no less pervasive and is somewhat even more insidious—slowly and subtly (but usually without opposition) bringing corruption and hurt, not only to individuals, but whole societies and nations.
Whether Christian or not, our focus in the midst of a world beset by terrorism shouldn't primarily be on the physical dangers others pose to us (leave that for governments and law enforcement), but on our own spiritual influence upon others. The ultimate goal of the Christian life is to pour out our lives in a sacrifice and service for others, and to be a witness for the gospel of Christ. The increase in terrorism gives us all the more opportunity to do just this because Christ's love shines all the brighter when darkness provides an obvious contrast.
Yes, this may cost us much, as violent and evil men will always try all they can to stamp out life, liberty and life-giving ideologies. But selfless and courageous love will always be worth it because these are the very building blocks of any prosperous and blessed society, and the cement which holds all its structures in place.
How to defeat terror
This mindset is our best defence against terror and ultimately how it will always be overcome: for extravagant, fearless love is never overcome—even if it has to sacrifice itself—because its victory comes by way of what it can give, not what it may lose.
In sacrifice and a giving of self, love has its greatest victory and will do what no bomb or law ever will—show Christ's heart and willingness to save even the vilest of men, the most evil offenders, and enemies of God.
Tim has lived on the Gold Coast in Queensland for most of his life. He has a B.A in Journalism and Writing, a Graduate Diploma of Education and an Associate of Theology degree, and has taught in Christian Education for just over six years. He enjoys writing, bodyboarding and watching movies.
Tim Price's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/tim-price.html