Cultures not all equal: Abbott

SYDNEY • Deposed Australian prime minister Tony Abbott has declared "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, who briefly trained as a priest before entering politics, also called on Australians to stop apologising for their values.

Mr Abbott was ousted by Mr Malcolm Turnbull in a Liberal Party coup in September but remains on the backbench. He 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 Sydney Daily Telegraph published yesterday.

Labor opposition front-bencher Ed Husic slammed Mr Abbott for his "effort to Trumpify Australian politics", after US Republican presidential front runner Donald Trump once again courted controversy by calling for Muslims to be barred from entering the country.

Mr Turnbull told national radio that Mr Abbott was entitled to his opinion, but made it clear the vast majority of Muslims were appalled by violent extremism.

"The one thing we need to be very careful not to do... is play into the hands of our enemies and seek to tag all Muslims with responsibility for the crimes of a few," he said.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 10, 2015, with the headline 'Cultures not all equal: Abbott'. Print Edition | Subscribe