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The issue here is not Muslims as such, but the response to Muslims of the secular pc approach that finds its most galling expression in the public sector - not necessarily the politicians themselves. (Though I am sure they could do more.) A very large number of Muslims in my experience do not want to deny our heritage, they just want us to be a bit more welcoming. And for me as a Christian I accept that as a fair rebuke. Welcome, hospitality and honour for all made in the image of God, whether Christian or not is foundational to my faith. Rudd's apologies for the Aboriginal issues, and most recently for the treatment of British children involuntarily taken to Aus, is actually very un-pc. I cannot speak for him, and why he has not denied making the speech, but I can emphasise what he did not say. I am sure he could do more, but the agenda for any PM is huge. In a very multicultultural place like Luton England where I work the failings of the PC straitjacket are working out in huge frustrations in society which are now exploding in the issues I have blogged about recently here. However the local government at least have recognised that in part and we are all working to construct new ways of talking to each other that are respectful and yet don't mess with the issues. But that involves a huge amount of deconstruction of ways of doing things and asking people to deal more honestly with issues and yet more gracious. At national government level that would be huge - but it has to be done. So I agree with aspects of what is said in several posts above, but will still uphold the fact that John Rudd did not say these things!
Sorry to all recent commenters if what I have said in this post doesn't fit with your preconceptions of what I should have said or more importantly what Kevin Rudd should have said. He didn't say the above and so it is wrong to put the words in his mouth, even if we wish he did, think he would done, etc. I will only say this; one of my primary aims as a peacemaker is to make sure we are dealing with facts and not rumours. There are enough difficult and often ugly facts around so lets not waste time with the rumours and urban legends.
My apologies, I am not currently keeping the china church blog up to date.
Toggle Commented Aug 12, 2009 on The Church In China at www.reconciliationtalk.com