Last week my Husband became an Australian Citizen.
It was and always will be a very proud moment, not just for him, but for myself and our daughter.
When we choose a partner in life, we look for someone who has the same values and desires as we do. We look for someone who shares our dreams and goals for the future.
Often, it is very hard to find that perfect match. But thankfully, I have.
I grew up Catholic, attended Catholic schools my entire life and went to Church most Sundays.
I believe that I grew up to be a caring, compassionate, tolerant and respectful individual. This is absolutely a reflection of my upbringing and the beliefs and values that my parents instilled in me.
In recent years, like most people, I have watched horror unfold around the world. On a daily basis I am gobsmacked by the amount of hatred and violence that people are exposed to.
I've read the articles and seen the footage where the media portrays Islam as evil, but this type of propaganda is something I have always questioned.
Surely an entire religion cannot be based on hate (as the media would like us to believe)
Perhaps because of my disability and being someone who has faced my own (small in comparison) battles with not feeling 'accepted' or 'respected' at different points in my life, I am unable to comprehend any level of discrimination - because above all, we are ALL human before we are anything else, aren't we?
When I met my Husband, I was attracted to his values and beliefs ... because they were exactly the same as mine.
The only difference, he is Muslim.
As I learnt more about his religion and culture, the more I realised just how similar we ALL are.
Together we decided that we wanted to be united in our future, especially as parents.
I converted to Islam for a multitude of reasons, mainly love, respect and a desire to feel more connected with humanity.
I wish the scare mongering would stop.
I wish that those who make ill-informed and uneducated assumptions would instead ask questions.
I wish that the fear would lessen.
But the only way this stops is if we understand the facts -
You don't need to fear me or my husband or our daughter.
As a new mother, I'm terrified of the world that my daughter will experience if we continue to spread hate.
All my husband and I can do, is continue to educate her about all the good that still exists in this world. We can continue to live by our beliefs and do our best to instil the same values in her as our parents instilled in both of us.
At the moment the world needs more unity and less division.
In light of recent comments made in the media, I pray that Australia doesn't 'ban' anyone. Because by doing so means we will lose sight of what makes this country so great - a strong multicultural nation that is enriched by welcoming people such as my husband.