Abbott’s Cogent Stand
Australian Muslims were outraged after Prime Minister Tony Abbott hurled criticism at their leaders to “get with the program” to combat Islamic extremism, and launched a nationwide crackdown on radical Muslims and mosques. It was a speech that many Americans wish their own leader might give. In an address to the nation about security, Abbott slammed Islamic leaders and their attitudes toward extremism:
“I’ve often heard Western leaders describe Islam as a ‘religion of peace’,” the conservative leader said. “I wish more Muslim leaders would say that more often, and mean it.” Abbott’s speech comes in the wake of a hostage siege by a Muslim radical Imam in a Sydney cafe that left three dead last December. Abbott also announced a national security crackdown that would deny welfare payments to people seen as potential threats, strip the passports of those with dual nationality and curb travel overseas—a move designed to curb Australians from fighting with ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
Barack Obama has refused to strip passports from Americans who fight for ISIS, defeating a Ted Cruz-authored Senate bill last year. Abbott said the personal freedoms of some would have to be curtailed to fight a rapidly growing threat from radical groups such as Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
“For too long, we have given those who might be a threat to our country the benefit of the doubt,” Abbott said. “We will never sacrifice our freedom in order to defend them, but we will not let our enemies exploit our decency either.” Abbott said new laws would applicable on the immigration, welfare, policing and intelligence fronts by clamping down on supporters of radicals, especially Muslim welfare recipients, and also target “hate preachers.” He explicitly linked welfare to terrorism, accusing dozens of Australians fighting in Syria and Iraq of having been on the dole, and adding that payments to “individuals assessed to be a threat to security” could soon be cancelled. “People who come to this country are free to live as they choose. Provided they don’t steal that same freedom from others,” he said. Local Muslims condemned the premier’s remarks as “divisive,” and that Abbott was making Muslims “scapegoats.”
“We continue to encourage the prime minister to reflect the set of values he espouses by utilizing a repertoire of inclusive rather than divisive language,” said Kuranda Seyit, a spokeswoman for the Islamic Council of Victoria. “The prime minister’s lack of acknowledgement or appreciation of Muslim community leaders and members who volunteer their time to consult with all levels of government and enforcement agencies misleads and incites ill-feeling from the broader community.”
“We are doing our job so don’t come…and tell me to do my job…that’s really offending us,” Western Sydney’s Sheik Adid Alrubai said. Muslim group Hizb ut-Tahrir said national security statement made Muslims “scapegoats.”
In the U.S., a staggering 80 per cent of mosques teach and preach jihad. Estimates are even higher in Australia, where official have had to content with the Sydney hostage attack, as well as foiling plots to behead Australians on behalf of ISIS operative. In each case, the perpetrators were members of radical “hate preachers” teaching jihad against the infidel. Tony Abbott is taking a stand to defend his people. Where’s Obama?