I have been appalled by political comments made this week by John Howard, Peter Costello and Andrew Robb about how "Muslims must integrate better". Singling out any minority and saying they are "extreme" or that they "harbour terrorists" just polarises public opinion and feeds the fires of hatred within our community. In short, our politicians are creating and contributing to the problem they say they are trying to address. It is like trying to put out a fire with petrol.
There may be votes in it for them, but at what cost to Australia? There is general consensus that Australia is a less safe place following Howard's blind commitment to the futile and disastrous Iraq war and his anti-Muslim rhetoric. Of course he knew at the time there were no weapons of mass destruction - ASIO reports at the time told him so.
I was going to write a letter on this topic, then this one was published in The Age, which neatly sums up the concerns I have with the increasingly extremist and borderline racist views of the Howard government.
Janice Florence, Preston
The Age, 19 September 2006
I'm fed up with irresponsible politicians fiddling while Rome burns. They play wedge politics, stirring up artificial controversy about migrants, promoting division and suspicion. Is this a diversion from matters more difficult? Or is it just the usual jockeying for power by vying for the redneck vote?
How about doing something about the mountain of real problems we face: health, education, global warming, the energy crisis, the water crisis, environmental degradation, world poverty. Our overpaid, overindulged leaders should get over this petty game-playing and get on with the serious business of giving our civilisation a viable future.