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Friday, February 24, 2006


Peter Costello’s controversial views on sharia-inclined immigrants led last night’s late news bulletins and were again among lead items tonight. The Sydney Morning Herald:

Anyone who believes Islamic sharia law can co-exist with Australian law should move to a country where they feel more comfortable, Treasurer Peter Costello says.

All Australian citizens must adhere to the framework in society which maintains tolerance and protects the rights and liberties of all, he said.

More from the SMH:

"Before entering a mosque visitors are asked to take off their shoes,” he told the Sydney Institute last night. “This is a sign of respect. If you have a strong objection to walking in your socks, don’t enter the mosque.

"Before becoming an Australian you will be asked to subscribe to certain values. If you have strong objections to those values, don’t come to Australia."

The SMH also has a poll (75% of respondents agree with Costello). Naturally, Islamic spokesman Keysar Trad disagreed, as is demanded by ritual:

Treasurer Peter Costello is promoting division and Islamophobia in remarks about Muslims and should be censured, a Muslim community leader says.

No censuring occurred:

Prime Minister John Howard has refused Muslim calls to censure Treasurer Peter Costello over comments he made about Islamic extremists.

Other pieces appeared in the Australian and the Age, which ran a Your Say forum and a comment piece from Michelle Grattan:

Peter Costello last night weighed into the culture wars — and almost outdid John Howard. Costello’s Sydney Institute speech, with its condemnation of “mushy misguided multiculturalism”, was unnecessarily confronting.

Can’t have that. The ABC led its AM program with two items on the Costello Comments Controversy; another two items ran on The World Today.

Question: why not the same reaction when Costello said essentially the same things more than four months ago? Bloggers—about forty of them, from Romania to Brisbane—quickly circulated those remarks, but press response was minimal. Odd.

UPDATE. Check out all the crossheads (crossheads! in 2006!) throughout this SMH wrapup:

Cheap shot, says Beattie

Plea to MPs to stand against Costello

‘Just a political pitch to conservative voters’

Costello accused of Islamophobia

Call for PM to censure treasurer

PM pandering to Islamophobia: Trad

‘Impossible to live under sharia law here’

No conflict between Islam and Australia

Challenge to Costello

Ongoing government theme

Man, talk about ongoing themes ...

Posted by Tim B. on 02/24/2006 at 05:02 AM
(67) CommentsPermalink