Today Extra host Sonia Kruger has issued an emotional statement on Tuesday morning addressing the controversial comments she made about stopping Muslims from migrating to Australia.
Kruger has been on the receiving end of a torrent of hate ever since she appeared on The Today Show yesterday morning.
During a panel section of the show, Kruger addressed the question: “Do more migrants increase the risk of terror attacks?”
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In response, she referred to – and agreed with – a column by News Corp’s columnist Andrew Bolt where he linked Muslim immigration to France to the recent spate of terrorist attacks in the country.
“There is a correlation between the number of people who are Muslim in a country and the number of terrorist attacks,” Kruger said.
“I have a lot of very good friends who are Muslim, who are peace-loving, who are beautiful, but there are fanatics.”
She called for an end to Muslim migration, citing the reason that she wanted to “feel safe”.
“I would like to see it stopped now for Australia because I want to feel safe, as all our citizens do, when they go out to celebrate Australia Day and I’d like to see freedom of speech as well,” Kruger said.
After copping intense backlash, particularly on social media, Kruger immediately addressed the issues this morning on her show.
“Before we start the show, I would like to say a few things about what happened yesterday on the Today Show. The discussion we had was centred around a newspaper article which measured the correlation of Muslim population in certain countries and the number of certain terrorist attacks. I thought the article made relevant points. We witnessed too many atrocities in the name of terrorism. Last week’s attack on men, women and children in Nice left me in utter disbelief,” Kruger said, her voice breaking.
“Last week’s attack on men, women and children in Nice left me in utter disbelief.”
“I saw the image of a baby covered in a plastic sheet with a doll lying beside her and it rocked me to the very core. I imagined what that must have been like for the people of Nice, for the friends and families of the lost and the thought that it could happen here terrifies me. This type of attack affects people from all walks of life and I want to make it very clear that I have complete respect for people of all races, and religions.
“I acknowledge my views yesterday may have been extreme. The reaction overnight in the papers, online and via social media demonstrates that there are a myriad of opinions in Australia which I actually appreciate. It is a hugely complex and sensitive issue. It’s an issue with no simple answer. And it’s an issue that cannot be fully discussed in a short televised segment,” Kruger continued.
“Is there a solution? I don’t know. We elect politicians to make those calls. They analyse and then they decide and we hope they get it right. It’s and we hope they get it right. It’s a privilege to live in a country such as Australia which embraces a multi cultural society. But there is no simple answer here and if we are to find a solution to the situation at the very least we need to be able to discuss it.”