Deposed Australian prime minister Tony Abbott declared on Wednesday “cultures are not all equal” and the West should proclaim its superiority over Islam, sparking accusations he is trying to “Trumpify” the nation’s politics.
The staunch Catholic also called on Australians to stop apologising for their values.
Abbott, who was ousted by Malcolm Turnbull in a Liberal Party coup in September but remains on the backbench, urged the West to “be ready to proclaim the clear superiority of our culture to one that justifies killing people in the name of God”.
“We can’t remain in denial about the massive problem within Islam,” he wrote in an opinion piece for the mass-market Sydney Daily Telegraph
Labor opposition frontbencher Ed Husic slammed Abbott for his “effort to Trumpify Australian politics”, after US Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump once again courted controversy by calling for Muslims to be barred from entering the country.
“What are these guys going on about, other than what I see as a broader effort to Trumpify Australian politics by bringing in the extreme elements of conservative discussion within the US political system to Australian shores?” Husic told Sky News.
Abbott, who briefly trained as a priest before entering politics and was once dubbed the “Mad Monk”, added that Australians should stop being “apologetic about the values that have made our country as free, fair and prosperous as any on Earth”.
Labor opposition Leader Bill Shorten called the remarks “entirely counterproductive”.
“Inflammatory language undermines efforts to build social cohesion, mutual respect and has the potential to harm the efforts of national security agencies to keep Australians safe,” he said in a statement.
Australian Human Rights Commission chief Gillian Triggs also criticised Abbott’s tone.
“We have to be extremely careful before we make blanket assertions about Islam as a religion, or the Muslim people in Australia,” she said.
“Many of those (Muslims) I meet in my job, I know them to be really remarkably peaceable and good family people. So I think we need to work on understanding why that tiny number… has become so radicalised.”
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