I debated long and hard about whether I wanted to write about Senator Lambie. For a long time, I put my fingers in my ears and did the proverbial 'la, la, la', hoping that if I did she might go away.
Or perhaps busy herself Googling 'Islam: a beginner's guide to'.
As a fellow Tasmanian, I wonder what state the state was in when they elected her. Had everyone been drinking the Kool-Aid? Were those horrifying billboards of Clive Palmer's enormous hands which had sprouted all over Queensland down there too, obstructing everyone's view of Jacqui Lambie's brain?
If she were a racist and a bigot with intelligence and an actual argument which made any kind of sense, then I could at least say 'right, she's a disgusting piece of elephant dung, but you know what? She at least understands what the hell she's saying. I could happily construct a nice little plot for her next to certain Austrian corporals, but her critical thinking is at least - well, thinking.'
The quote above is unfortunately not an isolated incident. She went on to say that supporters of Sharia law are "maniacs and depraved humans" who will not stop committing "cold-blooded butchery and rapes until every woman in Australia wears a burka". She attacks and badmouths the Army, Chief of Defence, the Department of Defence and all they stand for on a daily if not an hourly basis, yet conversely refers to herself as 'ex-Defence' in every speech she makes. I realise that this is to appeal to her constituents, and yes, technically she is ex-Defence, but one cannot shoot one's Steyr and use it as a hockey stick too.
On last Sunday's Insiders program on the ABC, the marvellously ironic Barry Cassidy was (unsurprisingly) smart enough to let her dig her own grave - by simply sitting back and letting her um and ah as she fought to explain what Sharia law, in her opinion, was. If he had attacked, she would have garnered - perhaps - some sympathy. As it was, she simply looked like what she is.
An uninformed twit, who knows there at least three terrorists in My Sharona - I mean Sharia.
I have lived in a secular Muslim country. The people there? Were like people anywhere - some were good, some were bad. Some were amazingly special, and some were downright evil. It had nothing to do with religion - although some of them of course said that what they did was in the name of religion, just as people do in the name of Christ, of Jehovah, of Buddha, of Pan, of Zarathustra, of Yahweh, of Aphrodite, of the Mother Goddess.
I certainly don't pretend to understand the intricacies of Sharia law.
But what I do know is this.
Jacqui Lambie is a dangerous person.
She plays upon the emotions and fears of ignorant people. She uses the current atmosphere of worry and uncertainty to further a cause of hate against people who are in any way different to her'norm'. She doesn't allow diversity, or any challenge or interruption to the way she wants Australia to be. And in her vision for this 1950s Hills-Hoistian world, she is going to cause more damage than any burqa clad so-called terrorist trying to make their way in a new land ever will.
Looking for a terrorist, Senator Lambie?
Don't look under a burqa.
Have a look at a berk instead.