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Aussie PM Speaks Truth, Muslims Offended

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Australian Prime Minister John Howard is now the target of Muslim offense and rage, for comments in a new book: PM’s Muslim comments ‘offensive’. (Hat tip: LGF readers.)

Prime Minister John Howard’s suggestions that some Muslims are extremists who cannot embrace the country’s ways are offensive and ignorant, the Islamic Council of NSW says.

Mr Howard today said he stood by his comments outlined in a book to mark his 10 years in power, claiming sections of Australia’s Muslim population are antagonistic to Australian culture.

He said a commitment to jihad and extreme attitudes towards women were two problems unique to Muslims that previous intakes of migrants from Europe did not have, and that Australia wanted people to assimilate and adopt Australian ways. Mr Howard said today it was his “right and duty” to express his thoughts.

“I stand by those comments that there is a small section of the Islamic population in Australia that, because of its remarks about jihad, remarks which indicate an extremist view, that is a problem,” Mr Howard told reporters in Sydney.

“It is not a problem that we have ever faced with other immigrant communities who become easily absorbed by Australia’s mainstream.”

Australians wanted people to assimilate, Mr Howard said.

“We want people when they come to Australia to adopt Australians ways. We don’t ask them to forget the countries of their birth, we respect all religious points of views and people are entitled to practise them but there are certainly things that are not part of the Australian mainstream.”

The Prime Minister also expressed concern about Muslim attitudes to women.

“There is within some sections of the Islamic community an attitude towards women which is out of line with mainstream Australian society,” he said. “It needs to be dealt with by the broader community, including Islamic Australia. There is really not much point in pretending it doesn’t exist.”

In response, Australian Islamic leaders are seething and whining, and pretending that oppression of women doesn’t exist. Oh, and also spewing the usual nonsense about jihad meaning an inner struggle for self-improvement.

Lebanese Muslims Association spokesman Keysar Trad said Mr Howard was “unfortunately just pandering to the Islamaphobia out there by making these comments”.

“I’m extremely disappointed that the PM would again single out the Muslim community still reeling from the spin out of the Cronulla riots,” Mr Trad said.

I’m a bit struck by his comments about jihad. The greatest form of jihad is freedom of conscience - to speak your mind in the face of wrongdoing.

“Another great form of jihad is to be a good citizen. To someone like me when the PM criticises something like jihad he is criticising freedom of conscience, freedom of speech and efforts to be a good citizen. Jihad is a personal struggle to be the best that I can be.”

Mr Trad also said Mr Howard had been wrong to criticise Islamic attitudes towards women, saying Mohammed had had given women equal rights long before they became acceptable in 20th century western society.

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