Pakistan-born first Muslim female to enter Australian state parliament

Published: April 24, 2013
I see no role that religion plays in government and nor should it, says Mehreen Faruqi: PHOTO: MEHREENFARUQI.COM

I see no role that religion plays in government and nor should it, says Mehreen Faruqi: PHOTO: MEHREENFARUQI.COM

AUSTRALIA: A Pakistan-born migrant Mehreen Faruqi became the first Muslim woman to enter the Australian state parliament as she was selected by the New South Wales Greens to fill a position in the upper house of the state legislature, Voice of America (VOA) reported on Wednesday.

Faruqi was selected by a postal ballot of party members, from a field of seven in a contest in which only women could run.

She is all set to become part of Australia’s first and oldest parliament in New South Wales in July as the first female Muslim in any of Australia’s state, territory or federal parliaments.

While Muslim groups worry that Faruqi will face problem in merging the teachings of Islam and Greens policies, she believes that faith should have no bearing on Australian politics.

“I see no role that religion plays in government and nor should it. I am not a spokesperson, you know, for religious Islam. There are many other MPs who are Christians and likewise they are not spokespeople for the church,” she stated.

“And, like I said earlier, I joined the Greens because of a really strong position on sustainability, social justice, human rights [and] multiculturalism.”

“She would support things such as gay marriage and that is directly in conflict with the teachings of Islam. I do not know whether she is going to stick to that, how she is going to harmonize between the two,” Keysar Trad, the founder of the Islamic Friendship Association of Australia said.

Faruqi studied environmental engineering after she migrated from Pakistan with her family in 1992 and is a professor at the Australian Graduate School of Management at the University of New South Wales.

As the ethnic diversity increases in Australia, analysts expect more participation from minorities in the political arena.

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Reader Comments (20)

  • Thor
    Apr 24, 2013 - 1:14PM

    Go girl. Mae us proud!


  • Final Solution
    Apr 24, 2013 - 1:24PM

    I see no role that religion plays in government and nor should it
    Such beautiful words.


  • Stranger
    Apr 24, 2013 - 1:33PM

    May her tribe increase !!


  • BlackJack
    Apr 24, 2013 - 1:34PM

    Good stuff. As long as being a muslim does not affect the way she does her job, who cares which religion she comes from.


  • bilal
    Apr 24, 2013 - 1:42PM



  • Ali S
    Apr 24, 2013 - 1:54PM

    This is proof that Pakistanis have no excuse to blame the rest of the world and “the West” for discrimination because they’re Muslim or Pakistani. If you have the talent and integrity, most foreign countries will give you far more respect than you could ever hope for in your home country (especially as a minority or woman). If anything, given this country’s track record, Pakistanis are a lot more accepted internationally than they should be.


  • Imran Ahsan Mirza
    Apr 24, 2013 - 2:42PM

    I am disappointed in her stand on favouring Gay marriage contrary to her religious values. Imran-Sydney


  • Asif Khan
    Apr 24, 2013 - 4:14PM

    She is against the mixing of religion and government and she’s in favour of LGBT rigths.That’s fantastic,we need more Muslims like her,peace loving and tolerant of LGBT people.It’s Muslims like her that are doing Pakistan proud while all the Boston terrorists did was bring Muslims into disrepute.Recommend

  • Mohammad
    Apr 24, 2013 - 4:42PM

    Now we will start being proud on her… lol .. shortage of HEROES at home.


  • Zohaib
    Apr 24, 2013 - 5:30PM

    I hope this reconsiders her views. Islams needs to enter politics. Islam is a total system of every day life. It is politics. It is economics. It is medicine. It is everything.


  • Genesis
    Apr 24, 2013 - 6:05PM

    This is possible only in a non Islamic nation It is inconceivable that such a privilege would be granted to non Muslims in Islamic nations.


  • Fareed Bilgrami
    Apr 24, 2013 - 6:20PM

    We’re proud of u Mehreen! I share ur views


  • imran bhatt
    Apr 24, 2013 - 7:15PM

    While in Pakistan all Pakistan born candidates must prove that not only they are true Muslims but also that Ahmedis Muslims are not Muslims before they can even participate in general elections. The funniest part of it is that even Ahmedis Muslims have to declare that they are not Muslim.


  • Raj - USA
    Apr 24, 2013 - 7:27PM

    I sense Chinese hand in promoting the LGBT rights. Their toy industry is booming. Read somewhere that their toy exports are over $3 billion a year and they control over 90% of the world market in this sector.

    PS: As a person of Indian origin, I have to take this stand after the recent China – India border conflicts. Pakistani origin of this lady confirms this.


  • Apr 24, 2013 - 8:07PM

    We Pakistanis feel proud that a Pakistani born Muslim woman became a member of Australian Parliament, whereas she herself feel shame to be identified as a Pakistani or a Muslim. Neither her Pakistani nor Islamic identity is the reason to achieve the position. She will wholeheartedly condemn the acts of religious fundamentalists and sectarian criminals in Pakistan.


  • IKK
    Apr 24, 2013 - 8:16PM

    Three cheers for her!


  • amir jafri
    Apr 24, 2013 - 9:40PM

    why Pakistanis jumping with joy….for what? Westerners look for and cultivate these mir jaffars and mir sadiqs…Most Westoxicated ones in Pakistan are already their representatives…Our Amabassador to US worked/works for US interests.


  • Talha Rizvi
    Apr 24, 2013 - 10:42PM

    @amir jafri:
    You are right we should feel proud of Malik Ishaq,Mullah Nazir,Faisal shehzad,Khalid sheikh muhammad,Hafiz saeed e.t.c.Seriously if you hate the west so much stop using their language.Seriously its people like you who give muslims a bad name.


  • BALOCHgm
    Apr 25, 2013 - 5:48PM

    Its great to see Pakistani expatriates moving for progression and recognition all over the world. This is an other proof of that. It would have better, if this gentle lady would have introduced her and should have given her resume too for the knowledge of general public. Just a name and saying she is from Pakistan seems a bit itchy.


  • Darbullah
    Jun 4, 2013 - 5:57PM

    Australia is not Muslim. Any one can achieve their potential if they have talent. In Pakistan, you have to be a camel herder descent to succeed.


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