Australian TV identity Sonia Kruger calls for halt on Muslim immigrants
An Australian television host has courted controversy on morning television by calling on Australia to stop taking Muslim immigrants, prompting a heated stand-off with her co-host.
The co-host of Channel Nine's Today Extra program, Sonia Kruger, left David Campbell and Today host Lisa Wilkinson visibly discomfited after she said she would like to see the immigration of Muslim people to Australia "stopped now ... because I would like to feel safe".
Kruger was responding to a column by conservative columnist Andrew Bolt, who wrote in the News Corp press on Monday that jihadist terrorists had made France "Europe's bloodiest battlefield" because "France let in the most Muslims".
"We are fools not to change our own immigration policies to protect ourselves," Bolt said.
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Kruger said on Monday: "Personally I think Andrew Bolt has a point here that there is a correlation between the number of Muslims in a country and the number of terrorist attacks."
The former Dancing With The Stars host added she had "a lot of friends who are Muslim who are peace-loving, who are beautiful people, but there are fanatics."
She said Japan had a population of 174 million including 100,000 Muslims and "you never hear of terrorist attacks in Japan".
"Personally I would like to see it [the immigration of Muslims] stopped now for Australia because I would like to feel safe as all of our citizens do when they go out to celebrate Australia Day and I'd like to see freedom of speech."
Campbell interjected that he would "like to see freedom of religion as well, as well as freedom of speech. They both go hand in hand."
In an impassioned retort, he added: "This breeds hate. This sort of article breeds hate."
Campbell alluded to controversial One Nation leader and Senator-elect Pauline Hanson before Kruger cut him off, saying: "What, so you're not allowed to talk about it, you're not allowed to discuss it?"
He responded that "you are allowed to talk about it and you are allowed to celebrate and worship whatever you want and whatever you don't want".
Kruger said: "I would venture that if you spoke to the parents of those children killed in Nice, they would be of the same opinion."
Wilkinson, who appeared incredulous during parts of Kruger's rant, interjected that "in fact the very first person who was killed, mown down in that truck, was a Muslim woman so it's killing Muslims, it's indiscriminate".
"Just to clarify, Sonia, are you saying you would like our borders closed to Muslims at this point?" Wilkinson said.
Kruger replied: "Yes I would."
The comments have sparked heated debate on social media.
Sonia Kruger has done a Trump, she has Muslim friends, hmmmm, but uhh...doesn't want Muslims here! pic.twitter.com/hG5gqRBPgp— Shane Matthew Neave (@shane25873) July 18, 2016
- Sydney Morning Herald