This from AAP, via Westnet:
Top cop warns of anti-Islamic bias
The nation’s top policeman says there is a risk of creating a generation of Australians with a bias against Islam, which in turn will incite more terrorism.
Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty called for moderation in media coverage of issues including controversial comments by Australia’s most senior Islamic cleric. Sheik Taj Aldin Alhilali compared skimpily-dressed women to “uncovered meat” and suggested they were “the problem” that caused sexual attacks, The Australian reported.
Mr Keelty said if true, the comments were inflammatory. The sheik has since apologised for any offence caused by the comments.
“Obviously what was said is going to be offensive to many of us in the community,” Mr Keelty said in Adelaide. “But I would also point out that there are many other people in the community who say offensive things from time to time as well, and many of them are white Caucasian Australians. Clearly things are going to be said from time to time that I guess inflame the situation and for all us, we have got to look at ways to try and keep some element of moderation about what we say and what we do.”
In an address to the South Australian Press Club, Mr Keelty said: “if we are not careful, I think we risk raising a generation of Australians who will have a bias against Islam. As I travel around the country and speak to different Islamic communities … you hear more and more stories of treatment of the Islamic community that really is sub-standard by members of our own wider community. If we don’t get a handle on this now, if we don’t actually teach the values to future generations that we were brought up with, we do risk, I think, having a bigger problem in our own future than what we have in our past.”
Mr Keelty said he was concerned some media coverage may incite terrorism. “If we are not careful, the way we treat the issues of security and terrorism can in fact incite others to become involved,” he said.
He cited reported threats to the safety of the Australian cricket team during last year’s Ashes series in England as an example, saying Australian media followed a story of “questionable background” from the United Kingdom. “It was the story of a friend of a friend of an alleged friend of an alleged bomber that made the front pages and drove our media here for over 24 hours,” he said.