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Thursday, Oct 30 , 2014 ( Muharram, 1436)

Updated:10:00 PM GMT

Australia’s First Muslim MP

OnIslam & Newspapers
Australia Muslim MP
"Given my background, there are some people taking a small slice of pride or happiness," Husic said.
Australia, Muslims

CAIROAustralia’s first Muslim lawmaker was sworn in on Tuesday, September 28, becoming the country’s first MP to take the oath on the Noble Qur’an.

"Given my background, there are some people taking a small slice of pride or happiness," Ed Husic told The Australian daily.

Husic, of Bosnian origin, was elected a member of parliament for western Sydney.

He took the oath with his hand put on a copy of the Noble Qur’an.

Husic, a former national president of the Communications Electrical and Plumbing Union, arrived in Canberra on Monday with a copy of the Qur’an owned by his parent.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard opened the 150-member parliament on Tuesday, urging MPs to engage in “consensus not confrontation”.

“This term of Parliament is not an opportunity to refight the election, vote after vote, bill after bill,” Gillard said at a ceremonial opening of Australia’s 43rd Parliament.

“This is a time for consensus, not confrontation; debate, not destruction.”

The new parliament, which has a three-year term, includes Australia's first Aboriginal MP, Liberal Ken Wyatt who wore a traditional kangaroo pelt.

It also includes Australia's youngest ever member of parliament, baby-faced Wyatt Roy, 20.

Enormous Privilege

Husic has described his election as Australia’s first Muslim MP as “an enormous privilege".

“Being elected as an MP is enormously humbling because it reflects the diversity of Australia. It is a very multicultural nation,” he has said.

The Muslim MP has admitted that anti-Muslim sentiments have risen since the 9/11 attacks on the United States.

“There absolutely have been tensions since 9/11, but I think no one person can contribute to easing that tension,” he said.

“It has to be a genuine collective approach.”

Muslims, who have been in Australia for more than 200 years, make up 1.7 percent of its 20-million population.

Islam is the country's second largest religion after Christianity.

In post 9/11 Australia, Muslims have been haunted with suspicion and have had their patriotism questioned.

A 2007 poll taken by the Issues Deliberation Australia (IDA) think-tank found that Australians basically see Islam as a threat to the Australian way of life.

A recent governmental report revealed that Muslims are facing deep-seated Islamophobia and race-based treatment like never before.

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