AUSTRALIA’S prime minister, Narendra Modi, has responded to a question about why he didn’t refer to a Muslim woman who was allegedly assaulted by a Hindu man as a “hindu”.
The Indian prime minister told a reporter in a phone interview from India that he didn�t know the woman was Muslim.
Mr Modi said he didn��t know what to say because it is part of the job.
Mr Abbott, a Muslim who has won the election on a promise to make Australia an open and tolerant nation, was asked by the Indian newspaper, the Times of India, what he thought of the comments made by Mr Modi.
Mr Obama responded that Mr Modi should have said: “That is a Muslim, that is a Hindu, that would be better”.
Mr Modi was also asked by Mr Abbott whether he was racist, saying: “I am not a bigot.
If there is a problem with a particular group of people, they can have their problems, they cannot have their problem. And I don�t agree with that.”
Mr Modi responded by saying: I would like to say to all the Indian people that I am proud of you.
Mr President, we have done great work together.
We have achieved much.
I wish you a happy future.
A statement from the White House said Mr Modi had made his comments in the context of the current debate in India over religious intolerance.
He also said the comments were a reflection of the values of Australia and of our democracy.
“The Prime Minister said he was speaking in response to a query about comments he made at a press conference last week when he said, ‘That is not a Muslim.’
“So we are looking forward to working together with India on that. “
It is an example of the fact that, yes, we are a pluralistic society, but there is always room for disagreement, for debate, and for the kind of openness and tolerance that we all aspire to,” Mr Obama said.
The Times of London reported that Mr Abbott had told the paper that he thought Mr Modi might have been wrong to say: “If there is any sort of issue in the community, I would be happy to speak to that person and see how it plays out.” “
As a leader of a nation, as a leader, I have always strived to respect people’s right to live and worship freely as they choose, and that includes including people of all faiths.”
The Times of London reported that Mr Abbott had told the paper that he thought Mr Modi might have been wrong to say: “If there is any sort of issue in the community, I would be happy to speak to that person and see how it plays out.”
Mr Abbott also said he thought he had not spoken with Mr Modi about the incident.
“I would be very surprised if I had not been asked by him to do that,” he said.
Mr Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa that Mr Trudeau was pleased with Mr Abbott�s response.
“He is the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, which is a democracy and I know the Prime Minister of India very well, and I have great respect for him,” Mr Trudeau said.
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