Is The Australian‘s editor Chris Mitchell prosecuting his own war against Islam? West Australian police are currently investigating the firing of a bullet into a crowded Perth mosque, and anti-discrimination agencies report increased attacks on Muslims. But this morning the national daily goes out of its way – thousands of kilometres out of its way – for a story likely to stir up trouble.  On its front page the paper reports that Muslim cabbies in Minnesota have been refusing to take passengers who are carrying alcohol. Who would have thought the conduct of Minnesota cabbies was front page news in Australia? Yet on the basis of this story the paper runs an editorial  taking the local Metropolitan Airports Commission to task for proposing “special colour-coded lights to indicate which taxis are driven by non-Muslims and those willing to tote alcohol” rather than fining or sacking the cabbies.  And this is all proof of multiculturalism gone mad, the fault of “inner-city postmodernists and progressives” and evidence of the need to protect Australian values.  Interestingly, the story has received next to no coverage in the major US papers – The Washington Post ran this short article on Friday, but the NY Times seems not to have touched it. Then there is The Australian’s splash: “A network of homegrown converts to radical Islam has emerged as a major terrorist threat in Southeast Asia, teaming up with higher-profile al Qaeda offshoots Jemaah Islamiah and Abu Sayyaf to plot attacks on Western and local targets.” That based on what one person, “Manila’s top anti-terrorism official”, apparently said to the paper. Odd that only Muslims come in for this sort of treatment. A still unresolved issue in the US is what to do about fundamentalist Christian pharmacists who refuse to sell legal contraceptives. The Australian has not put that on the front page and railed against Christian sects who don’t abide by social norms and the rule of law.

Peter Fray

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