Virgin Mary insult: ‘We don’t accept your apology, Kyle’
SENIOR Christian and Muslim leaders have dismissed an apology by Kyle Sandilands over derogatory comments he made about the Virgin Mary and are instead calling on him to meet with them in person.
The interfaith group - including Maronite Bishop Antoine-Charbel Taraby, Muslim clerics Sheikhs Yahya Safi, Malek Zaidan and Youssef Nabha, as well as the Very Reverend Fathers Matthew Attia and Tadros Simon, Archbishops Basilios Kodseie and Amel Nona, and Bishop Robert Rabbat, released a joint statement on Saturday - condemning the KIIS FM shock jock.
"Many leaders of the Christian and Muslim faiths raised their concerns about these comments and declared their dismay and opposition to Sandilands' mockery of religion, beliefs, and of those who hold those beliefs," the statement read.
"At the same time, they affirmed that all Christians and Muslims view the Holy Virgin with great reverence and regard her as a role model, and the Christians venerate her as the Mother of God.
"Mr Sandilands has stated that he is sorry that he made the comments, and that he had not intended to offend anyone, only to make them laugh. Though looked upon as a positive sign, the religious leaders felt that the offered apology falls short of what is acceptable."
They said Sandilands's apology "certainly lacks the vigour of the initial comments" before calling on him and radio station management to issue a formal apology on air.
They also called on Sandilands - who is currently in Los Angeles - to "meet for an open dialogue, as the best way forward".
The Daily Telegraph last week revealed Sandilands, 48, joked in a video posted on the show's Instagram account that the Virgin Mary wasn't actually a "virgin" at all, before describing her as a "liar" who got knocked up "behind a camel shed".
"I thought Mary was his (Jesus Christ's) girlfriend but apparently it was the mother," Sandilands said in the video.
"And the mother lied obviously and told everyone 'Nah I got pregnant by a magical ghost'. Bullshit.
"Someone chock-a-blocked her behind the camel shed.
"You might believe everything that's written down 2000 years ago to be absolutely accurate and good on you, you're dumb. Dumb as dog shit."
He was later and slammed by thousands of people online, prompting executives to delete the social media video.
Sandilands last week told The Daily Telegraph he was sorry for the comments.
"I'm sorry if I offended anyone with my comments," Sandilands said.
"Everyone is entitled to their own religious beliefs and I'm fully supportive of that right."
Christians and Muslims rallied on Monday, attending an "interfaith peaceful protest" outside KIIS FM's Macquarie Park studios, despite the fact Sandilands and his co-host Jackie Henderson were on holidays.
The Daily Telegraph also revealed Sandilands had been in contact with NSW Police after receiving a number of death threats via social media, email and mobile phone.
"Absolutely Kyle has been getting death threats," a source close to the radio host said.
"That is nothing new however. To be honest, if Kyle got a dollar for every death threat he received, he would be able to buy Tasmania. It has been something that has been going on forever. To be fair, this past week has been very busy though."
The pair are due back on air on Monday.