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Fred Nile and little johnnie - and mojo

  1. FallGuy

    2,070 Posts.

    I reckon clothes are the problem - if people didn't wear clothes where would they hide the bombs? I mean - it's so obvious. The question is - Is mojo really Fred Nile?

    Thu, Nov 21 2002 9:02 PM AEDT

    Row erupts over Nile comments

    The Prime Minister is being criticised for failing to rule out a proposal to ban Muslim women from wearing their traditional robes and veil.

    New South Wales MP Fred Nile says the chador, worn by Muslim women to cover their bodies, could be used to hide explosives and is a perfect disguise for terrorists.

    John Howard says people's religious beliefs can be overridden in the public interest, but he has told Southern Cross radio he is not sure whether that is appropriate in this case.

    "I don't have a clear response to what Fred's put, I mean I like Fred, I don't always agree with him, but Fred speaks for the views of a lot of people," he said.

    "On the other hand, I feel it's very important at the moment that Islamic people don't feel they're being singled out."

    Greens Senator Kerry Nettle condemned the Prime Minister.

    "I was shocked that the Prime Minister didn't rule out of order the comments we've heard from Fred Nile."

    Wild talk

    The Federal Opposition says "wild talk" is unhelpful in the debate about the terror threat in Australia.

    Mr Nile has rejected calls for him to apologise to Muslim women, after claiming their traditional dress poses a potential security risk and should be banned in some public places.

    He says the chador could be used to hide explosives and is a perfect disguise for terrorists.

    Reverend Nile has been widely condemned by Islamic leaders, unions and the Anglican Church.

    Shadow Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd is calling for "cool heads" to prevail.

    "I don't regard Reverend Nile's contribution as consistent with keeping a cool head," he said.

    "The bottom line is this, we have a security problem in Australia. Governments, both state and federal, are taking measures to prepare this country to the best extent possible and wild talk, unfocussed talk, just doesn't help."

    Apology or resignation

    Islamic leaders want an apology while the Independent Education Union has called for his resignation.

    Reverend Nile has rejected both demands.

    "This is not Iran where you don't have free speech," Reverend Nile said.

    New South Wales Premier Bob Carr says the threat is likely to be from a car bomb and not the chador.

    He has labelled Reverend Nile's approach as unhelpful at an already difficult time for those of the Islamic faith

    "And there should no finger pointing or vilification or stereotyping of them as we go through this difficult period," Mr Carr said.

    Meanwhile, church and union groups have joined the list of people outraged by the comments.

    The Lebanese Muslims Association has labelled the comments outrageous and deeply offensive.

    The Anglican church in Sydney has dissociated itself from the remarks.

    The Bishop of South Sydney Robert Forsythe says the comments demonstrate a profound misunderstanding of religious freedom in a democratic society.

    "I think all Christians are embarrassed when other Christians say things that are unhelpful like that," he said.

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