Thursday, March 27, 2003
Meanwhile, you can always trust our politicians to keep level heads and never inflame tensions at moments of difficulty like this.
Federal Education Minister Brendan Nelson has written to state education ministers raising concerns that Islamic schools may be encouraging anti-Christian and anti-Western feelings in students.
Dr Nelson's letter, tabled in Queensland parliament today, said: "I have received a number of letters from concerned citizens across the country who feel that the teaching in Islamic schools may be encouraging anti-Christian and anti-Western feeling in the students enrolled in them."
Dr Nelson said in the letter he was confident this was not the case, but was concerned such sentiments could spread and advised state governments to ensure that schools complied with teaching and curriculum standards. [...]
Queensland Premier Peter Beattie today told reporters the letter reflected "divisive, base politics" by the federal government.
"This week they are picking on Islamic schools, next week it could be Catholic schools ... we are not going to allow that to happen," Mr Beattie said.
Actually I don't see why not. After all, going by Nelson's correspondents' logic, the teaching of Christian schools could equally be encouraging their students to have everything and everyone non-Christian. Or is it OK for white, Western, Christian Australians to hate others?