CANBERRA - Australia's Muslim lawmaker Ed Husic has been appointed as Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, becoming the first Muslim sworn into a federal government frontbench in the multicultural country.
This is a wonderful day for multiculturalism, and everything it stands for in our country, Governor-General Quentin Bryce told Husic as she swore him in and 24 of his Labor colleagues at a ceremony in Canberra, AAP news agency reported on Monday, July 1.
I wish you all the best as you serve our country as parliamentary secretary. She added to roars of Hear Hear! from his Labor colleagues.
Husic, of Bosnian origin, is the first Muslim to be appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and Parliamentary Secretary to the deputy Prime Minister in his capacity as the Minister for Broadband.
He was raised in western Sydney and attended Blacktown South Public School and Mitchell High School.
He has completed a BA (applied communications) in the first wave of students to graduate from the University of Western Sydney.
After his appointment, he said his parents, who came to Australia in 1966, and his wife Bridget were over the moon.
Husic also made history in 2010 when he 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.
Another Muslim, Mehreen Faruqi of Pakistani-origin, also made history after being appointed in April 2013 as the first Muslim woman in the Australian parliament.
A key supporter of the newly elected Australian PM, Husic vowed to connect people demands to the highest positions in the country.
I have supported Kevin Rudd from the start but never expected the appointments, Husic told Blacktown Sun newspaper.
It will allow me to pass on the views from people in my electorate to the two men holding the highest positions in Australia, he said.
Residents are worried their children can't do well in schools and parents of children with a disability are afraid they will lose out if Tony Abbott wins government,'' he said.
They also support the installation of broadband in western Sydney.''
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.