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Former Prime Minister John Howard laments "minority fundamentalism"

Former Prime Minister John Howard has lamented the rise of “minority fundamentalism” in Australia.

Writing exclusively in The Australian Howard argued that the campaign for marriage equality is the biggest example of people displaying intolerance and bigotry.

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Spruiking a new book, The Tyranny of Tolerance by author Peter Kurti, Howard said the quality of public debate in Australia was falling.

“The quality of public debate in Australia recently has taken a dramatic turn for the worse. Intolerance and bigotry have been displayed towards people expressing traditional views on social issues.” Howard wrote.

“The trend has been most obvious in the debate about same-sex marriage; this has not, however, been the only example. The trend represents a root-and-branch attack on free speech.”

The former Prime Minister, who introduced amendments to marriage act to stop same-sex couples being allowed to marry, said it was wrong for companies and individuals to be targeted over their traditional views.

Howard said the complaints against Tasmanian Catholic Archbishop Julian Porteous and the late cartoonist Bill Leak were unjustified.

“Freedom of religion and expression, both assumed as givens in Australian society, are under increasing assault from those who proclaim themselves as warriors for tolerance and inclusion.” Howard said.

The former PM said political parties who subscribed to “identity politics” were to blame for the increasing division within Australian society.

OIP Staff


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