Tony Abbott, the Prime Minister of Australia and leader of its center-right Liberal Party, has reportedly told his ministers to boycott the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), after the network brought a former terrorism suspect on its “Q&A” show in late June.
Following suit with the prime minister’s orders, Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce cancelled his scheduled Monday interview on “Q&A,” local media have stated.
“The Prime Minister has communicated that he does not want any front bencher to appear on Q&A,” a spokesman for the Agriculture Minister told the Sydney Morning Herald.
ABC has been embroiled in controversy after the publicly-funded, state-owned entity had Zaky Mallah appear on the program. The network admitted last week that they made the wrong decision in letting the alleged terrorist have airtime on the Aussie network.
On “Q&A,” Mallah accused the Australian government of justifying “many Australian Muslims in the community tonight to leave and go to Syria and join [ISIS].”
Mallah, 30, who claims to be a Muslim activist, was the first Australian to be arrested in 2003 under Sydney’s anti-terrorism act. He “issued a how-to list on Facebook for how young men can engage in holy war without getting killed or ending up in Guantanamo Bay,” news.com.au reported.
Mallah has previously traveled into Syria to engage in holy war and fight against Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, according to reports. He claims to have fought with the Free Syrian Army, which is supported by the United States, and not the Islamic State terror group.
Prime Minister Abbott said that “heads should roll” when it comes to the management of ABC, the BBC reports.