Former Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie says she would be ready to pick up a gun and join the fight against ISIS after riding with an armed patrol in Syria.
The outspoken former senator, who has been dropped in Syria for the SBS documentary Go Back To Where You Came From Live, donned a flak jacket and made a dramatic Lambie-like entrance into the war zone, facing fire from suspected ISIS gunmen over the weekend after landing in Syria.
Lambie, known for her anti-immigration views, is paired with Sydney immigration lawyer Marina for the show, aimed at giving participants a better understanding of the refugee crisis. In Raqqa, the pair are confronted with decomposing bodies of ISIS fighters and navigate mines on a patrol.
"I feel like I'm going to be sick. Humanity can be so cruel," Marina said, visibly shaken by the dead bodies and sounds of live fire. "Every time I hear it my heart stops. I feel like running away."
But Lambie has a different take, saying refugees fleeing the war zone had a responsibility to stay and fight for their country.
The former army veteran fired an AK-47 with soldiers, and mused what she would do in the position of a Syrian refugee.
"To be honest, I know this sounds terrible, but it makes we wanna go and feel like picking up a weapon and help them," Lambie said of the patrol experience.
“If these guys had got out and fled and not stayed behind to fight this war. ISIS would have taken over. Fleeing is not the answer that’s what I believe," Lambie tells Marina.
Marina responds by asking Lambie to consider the perspectives of those wanting to flee war and violence to save themselves and their family.
"Jacqui we are the exact personification of your point. You would stay to fight for your country. I would leave to fight for my life. It might make me seem weak, but that is just my instinct as a human," Marina says. "It doesn’t mean you're right for sacrificing your life for a concept. It doesn’t make me wrong for wanting to protect myself and my family."
"There is no easy answer there," Lambie concedes.
The interaction had Twitter chattering.
Lawyer Mariam Veiszadeh said she would "fight tooth and nail to save my family."
"Would you really stay back and 'fight for your country' when you’re also responsible for your young family, whom you can’t protect from gunfire," she tweeted.
Other Twitter users also doubted if Lambie would "stay and fight" if truly confronted with her family's life being in peril.
"Lambie says her faith teaches her that when her time is up, it’s up. You’ve got to wonder whether she’d apply the same logic if she and her family had to flee war, take her own advice, and just stay put?" tweeted ABC journalist Mark Kearney.
Before arriving in Syria, Lambie and Marina spent a weekend at the home of a Syrian refugee family in Sydney’s west.
The pair are joined on the documentary by comedian Meshel Laurie, former Big Brother host Gretel Killeen and ex-AFL player Spida Everitt.
The teams are paired with those with opposing views on the refugee debate and flown into the front line of the global refugee crisis - including Turkey, Syria and South Sudan - and spend time in refugee camps to understand the real world impact of war and dislocation on communities and families.
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Catch up on the first episode on SBS On Demand: