Anyone telling a story usually adds a point and whoever shares stories – already denied – on social media is trying to change the people involved or one detail or another. This is another one of those posts. The story has been around since the mid-2000s, when John Howard was still Australian Prime Minister, and has already been verified by the Observer when he attributed the statements to the former Australian leader. Now the Facebook user posts the photo of former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and attributes statements that after so many years continue to be falsely attributed.
Julia Gillard was the first woman to hold the post of head of government in Australia. She took office in 2010 and was replaced in 2013 by Kevin Rudd. There is no connection between Gillard and the statements attributed to him in the publication. Regarding “support for spy agencies to monitor mosques” installed in Australia, the statement was even made by an Australian Prime Minister. In 2005, in a post-September 11 climate, John Howard publicly supported government officials to spy on mosques in what he saw as “an attempt to curb the growth of terrorism around the world.”
The quote was used in a Reuters report published in The New York Times, where Australian Education Minister Brendan Nelson also said that “Muslims who do not support Australian values must leave the country” , unlike the publication that attributes this sentence to Julia Gillard. There is no record to argue that Julia Gillard even agreed with Brendan Nelson.
All of the following speech, erroneously attributed to former Prime Minister Gillard, is by US Air Force veteran Barry Loudemilk and was written in a local Georgia state newspaper, shortly after the 11/11 attacks. September, under the title “This is America, like it or Leave”.
It is wrong that Muslims who want to live under Islamic law have been ordered to leave Australia. In 2005, Australian Prime Minister John Howard allowed mosques across the country to be spied on by government officials in an attempt to stem the growth of terrorism around the world. But there is no record of Julia Gillard’s opinion regarding the position of her predecessor in the post, who represented another party (Howard is Liberal, Gillard Labor). As for the sentences the user underlined, last week, were spoken by the Prime Minister (who has not been in office since 2013), one is from the Australian Minister of Education (in 2005 ) and all the text accompanying the image is from a text by an American veteran, written in a local newspaper in Georgia, just after the attacks of September 11, which has nothing to do with Australia.
In the Observer classification system, this content is:
FALSE: Major content claims are factually inaccurate. Usually, this option matches “false” or “mostly false” classifications on fact checker websites.
Note: This content was selected by the Observer as part of a fact-checking partnership with Facebook and based on the proliferation of shares – coupled with reports of abuse by various users – in recent days.