Something that would never happen in America the brave and the free—an Australian senator says that “Islam itself is the problem.”

The Australian Herald Sun reports:

Islam’s the problem, not Muslims, says Senator Cory Bernardi

TONY Abbott’s official frontbench understudy has reignited immigration tensions by denouncing Islam as a “totalitarian, political and religious ideology”.

Liberal parliamentary secretary Cory Bernardi revealed last night he had received death threats after making the comments.

While the immigration debate usually differentiates between the religion of Islam and extreme fundamentalist interpretations, Senator Bernardi confronted the issue head-on yesterday.

“Islam itself is the problem—it’s not Muslims,” he told radio station MTR.

“Muslims are individuals that practise their faith in their own way, but Islam is a totalitarian, political and religious ideology.

“It tells people everything about how they need to conduct themselves, who they’re allowed to marry and how they’re allowed to treat other people.”

Senator Bernardi said Islam had “not moved on” since it was founded and that extremists wanted fundamentalist Islamic rule implemented in Australia.

The senator also inflamed the row over funeral expenses for asylum-seekers by declaring that it was “wrong” for taxpayers to foot the bill.

The remarks provoked a strong reaction from Ikebal Patel, president of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, who said Senator Bernardi had “crossed the line” with his attack on Islam.

“These comments are more than offensive; they are bigoted,” Mr Patel said.

“Cory Bernardi needs to have a good read of the Bible if he is a practising Christian.

“This is hardly the language of a religious person.”

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen also slammed the senator’s remarks.

“The Liberal Party professes to have said this week it would not make political points out of race and religion, but here we have Tony Abbott’s parliamentary secretary launching an attack on a religion,” Mr Bowen said.

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Kilroy M. writes:

It may be confusing that Senator Bernardi is a member of the “Liberal Party”. Your US readers should note that in Australia the two major parliamentary blocks are Labor and the Coalition of the Liberal and National Parties. The Liberals are the urban small business party (sort of), the Nationals are agrarian conservatives (sort of). The Coalition is therefore nominally conservative by necessity, but the Liberal Party has been thoroughly infiltrated by social liberals who push a centre-left agenda - something akin to your “RINOS” I think. It’s complicated and confusing. At least we have people like Bernardi to take a stand. There aren’t many like him, but he has a great deal of popular support.

LA writes:

It occurs to me that the title of this entry may be incorrect, since Rep. Allen West may have said something along these lines.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 19, 2011 02:10 AM | Send

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