This week the Hammurabi Cultural Society Inc hosted an evening to introduce Australian Christians Senate candidate Vickie Janson to its representatives from Melbourne’s Chaldean, Assyrian and Syriac Christian communities.

You may be saying ‘Hammur –who?’…

Hammurabi was an ancient King of Babylon (ruling Babylon 1792-1750 B.C.) who published a legal system embodying 300 laws known as the Code of Hammurabi. Having fled from the dictatorship of Suddam Hussein and Islamic terrorism, this group is very concerned about the code of law and the rising sharia compliance they see in Australia. Convenor Imad Hirmiz said ‘Our objective is to promote harmony and show our support for diverse society in which all communities live in harmony … and we believe all should respect Australian laws and culture’.

While the Hammurabi Society are inspired by the achievements of their motherland’s past kings and proud of their culture and heritage, Imad said, ‘we believe that the Australian Culture and heritage has enriched and shaped ours in many good ways; So we are proud to call Australia our home and we are proud to be called Australian Chaldean-Assyrian-Syriac’.

Much of the Hammurabi code reflects laws later embodied in the Law of Moses. Many are familiar with the eye-for-an-eye precept and it’s notable that Hammurabi’s law also stated  “If a man has put out the eye of a free man, they shall put out his eye”. (Of course Jesus later taught to ‘turn the other cheek’ and this is something the community has done plenty of).

King Hammurabi forbade the enslaving of free people and as people today who have endured religious persecution akin to enslavement, this group are keen to add their voice to the current debate about sharia law in Australia to defend freedom, democracy and the Rule of Law. This is a voice many Australians welcome.

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