“Has the
Howard Government gone mad?” Louise Dodson asks in the SMH today:

We have one of its most conservative
ministers, Tony Abbott, strongly defending multiculturalism, and calling for engagement
with hardline Muslim leaders. As Sir Humphrey Appleby from the TV program Yes
might have commented: “Very courageous.”

Another minister, Peter Costello, who is
generally supported by the moderate wing of the Liberal Party, has been condemning
“confused mushy misguided multiculturalism”.

there’s more. The PM says full Islamic garb is “confronting”.
Meanwhile, Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs Andrew Robb says
there needs to be specific employment programs to target young, jobless Muslims.
And Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has said people should not see the war on
terrorism as a war on a certain religion because doing so will only lead to a
conflict between civilizations.

They’re worse than Shi’ites and Sunnis the way they differ, this mob.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey