Waleed Aly has taken an angry swipe at a guest on The Project who said he believes Australia should cease Muslim immigration.
Aly, a Sunni Muslim, was interviewing Party for Freedom (PFF) spokesperson Nick Folkes on Monday night when the far-right movement member said he was “offended” by suggestions Australia should accept more Muslim refugees.
“Those billboards like ‘bless the burqa’ – and we should be accepting more Muslim refugees? – I find that offensive,” Mr Folkes said.
Aly responded: “So you find what offensive? The idea we accept refugees who happen to be Muslim?”
Mr Folkes replied: “Absolutely, Waleed. I think Australia’s been very generous over the years, and it’s time to say no, we’ve got to concentrate on issues within Australia.
“Charity begins at home. It’s time to start looking at some of the problems in Australia and prioritising what we need to do.”
To which Aly quipped: “So you’re saying it would be a real problem if a Muslim ever, for example, hosted a TV show?”
Watch the exchange:
Mr Folkes appeared on The Project to participate in an interview panel with Central Coast Anglican priest, Father Rod Bower.
On Sunday, Mr Folkes and other PFF members dressed in traditional Muslim garb and interrupted Fr Bower’s mass.
The group sat at the back of the church and pretended to pray while playing Muslim prayers on a loudspeaker. They criticised Islam by speaking on a megaphone and then left.
Fr Bower has been an outspoken advocate of multiculturalism, tolerance for Muslims and an anti-racist voice.
— Fr Rod Bower (@FrBower) August 14, 2016
He said some of his congregation were “traumatised” by the event.
“They were quite concerned, quite traumatised by the event,” Fr Bower said. “We had to spend a lot of time yesterday pastorally caring for some of the people who were shocked by this incident.”
Aly squeezed in another dig at Mr Folkes: “Before I let you go, Nick, may I compliment you on your quite Islamic-looking beard.”
Mr Folkes responded with a smile: “Thank you very much, Waleed. Appreciate that, thank you.”
‘It doesn’t matter what you think’
The interview descended into farce twice, once at the beginning and then at the end.
The Project panelist and shock-jock Steve Price got hostilities underway.
“Nick, what made you think it acceptable to dress up as a bunch of Muslims and invade someone’s church on a Sunday morning? I mean, you would have realised you were going to scare a whole lot of people. That’s just unacceptable behaviour, surely,” Price asked.
Mr Folkes responded: “I don’t feel that we scared that many people sort of thing.”
To which Price interjected angrily: “It doesn’t matter what you think. It matters what the parishioners think.”
NF: “You just asked me a question. Can I finish? We were there for a sensible protest. We didn’t disturb anybody in a confrontational manner.”
SP: “You were dressed up as Muslims, mate! How can that be sensible? You had a megaphone and you were shouting at people.”
Then at the end of the interview – as Fr Bower tried to answer a question – Mr Folkes kept interjecting (watch the full interview in the tweet below).
It caused Aly to try and silence Mr Folkes and let Fr Bower finish his answer.
— #TheProjectTV (@theprojecttv) August 15, 2016