Tennis legend regrets Muslim comment
February 15, 2006 - 5:34PM
Tennis legend and Perth evangelical church founder Margaret Court regrets saying Muslims were bearing children on a production line.
She reckons she should have just said they were multiplying.
The founder of the Christian Victory Life Centre was referring to a comment she made in a West Australian newspaper article in defence of former federal veterans affairs minister Danna Vale.
Ms Vale sparked controversy this week after claiming, as part of her contribution to the debate on the abortion pill RU-486, that the rate of pregnancy terminations meant Australia could become a Muslim nation in 50 years.
Ms Court said that Muslims were having more children than other Australians because they did not believe in abortion.
But she said she regretted her choice of words in the newspaper article.
"I probably, in the paper, shouldn't have used the words production line," Ms Court told Southern Cross Radio.
"I meant multiplication because they (Muslims) do have large families.
"We've been having less and less children and I think they (Muslims), they multiply, they multiply in the nations (sic)."
Ms Court said she believed Muslims and Christians could get along.
"I think we can coexist ... as long as the righteous Muslims stand up and say some things.
"I think some of those righteous ones - those people who want order - should stand ... against some of the things that are happening today, and they don't seem to do that."
Premier Alan Carpenter told journalists he did not agree with Ms Court's comments but was sure she did not mean to be offensive to anybody.
"I am sure she didn't mean to create offence, but I obviously disagree with what she had to say," Mr Carpenter said.
During her stellar tennis career, Ms Court won a record 62 Grand Slam titles including 24 singles, 19 women's doubles, 19 mixed doubles.