Australia 'will be Muslim in 50 years'
By Mark Chipperfield / London Telegraph
Australia is at risk of aborting itself out of existence and could become a Muslim country "within 50 years" if a controversial, abortion-inducing pill is made available, an Australian MP claimed yesterday.
Danna Vale, a former minister and an MP with the governing Liberal Party, said the drug, known as RU486, could drastically reduce the country's native-born, largely European population.
"I have read comments by a certain imam from the Lakemba mosque [in Sydney] who actually said that Australia is going to be a Muslim nation in 50 years' time," she said.
"I didn't believe him at the time, but when you actually look at the birth rate … we are aborting ourselves almost out of existence by 100,000 abortions a year. You multiply that by 50 years and that's five million potential Australians we won't have here."
The Australian parliament in Canberra is debating whether to allow the introduction of RU486, also known as mifepristone - a move that is opposed by Church groups and the staunchly Catholic health minister, Tony Abbott.
The inflammatory remarks upset Australia's Muslim community, which is still reeling from December's race riots, when white and Lebanese gangs fought pitched battles in the Sydney beachside suburb of Cronulla.
Keysar Trad, head of the Islamic Friendship Association of Australia, said Mrs Vale was trying to exploit people's ignorance of Islam. "It's just a cheap shot and it's very unfortunate," he said.
Mrs Vale's comments were also condemned by her own party, which is already divided over the abortion question.
The immigration minister, Amanda Vanstone, said the suggestion that people from Muslim countries might eventually outnumber native-born Australians was "completely ill-founded".
The opposition Labour Party described Mrs Vale's comments as "weird" and called on her to retract them.