It was as if the British had replaced Winston Churchill with Neville Chamberlain. Following the recent terrorist murder at Parramatta, Prime Minister Turnbull addressed the nation. Reading from a prepared text, he not only failed to identify the attack for what it was − Islamic terrorism − he threw the lever to a typical elite response. He lectured Australians about Islamophobia.
Observers half expected him to send out a tweet similar to that at the height of the jihadist Lindt Cafe siege: ‘I’ll ride with you’. The assessment of a woman calling into Sydney station 2GB was typical: ‘That Turnbull is a marshmallow’. Turnbull refrained from further comment for a week, finally calling on Australians to treat one another with respect – as though most weren’t.
Conceding finally that the terrorist had been motivated by extremist political and religious views, he remained unable to name the precise problem which the Egyptian President has identified – the desperate need for religious leaders to reform Islam to stop any theological justification for the killing of non-believers.
The terrorist outrage came on the heels of the latest example of Turnbull’s bagging of Abbott – which contrasts so much with his recent public eulogy to the Liberal party faithful where he was also the subject of unprecedented jeering.
But surely Turnbull should have been more than satisfied with his secular canonisation by the commentariat without the need to go on bagging Abbott.
The canonisation began with the ABC‘s Leigh Sales simpering, giggling and flirtatious 7.30 interview, followed by the Age’s Miki Perkins report that when Turnbull unveiled Abbott’s policy against domestic violence, ‘You could have forgiven the women in the room who had a tear in their eye’. They were so happy Turnbull delivered Abbott’s speech.
The canonisation agenda extended even into the heart of News Ltd with an extraordinary hagiography in the Australian of Turnbull as a ‘philosopher King’. But in the light of Peter Van Onselen’s wild claim that Abbott was ‘one of our worst prime ministers’, readers must have wondered where he’d been for the last several years. Then there was Niki Savva praising her hero for being ‘less scary’ in his choice of language on national security. With such an obsequious media, what advantage did Turnbull think he’d obtain by continuing to bag Abbott?
Nevertheless, the media were briefed on how terribly Abbott had offended those sensitive Muslims, asking them to join Team Australia, referring to Islamic State as a ‘death cult’ and daring to say that while Western leaders often describe Islam as a ‘religion of peace’, he wished more Muslim leaders would say that more often ‘and mean it’. Claiming Abbott’s great mistake was to deal with violent extremism as a ‘national security issue’, we were told that it would now be ‘a social issue’, albeit one with a ‘national security angle’. Randomly chosen non-believers threatened with decapitation will no doubt be relieved to know of this crucial redesignation.
The commentariat cooed in agreement with this nonsense, one Abbott sympathiser on the Australian even conceding that Abbott’s language was ‘clunky’. Like Churchill’s? The current on-tap Muslim spokesman, Dr Jamal Rifi, declared himself ‘elated’; Abbott had ‘alienated’ many Muslims. But almost as soon as the adoring media were purring about how much nicer Turnbull would be to those sensitive Muslims, Farhad Khalil Mohammad Jabar, dressed in a black robe and shouting ‘Allahu akbar’, murdered police accountant Curtis Cheng outside the Parramatta Police Station.
This form of terrorism is obviously a Muslim and not, say, a Coptic problem. As the Egyptian President has found, there’s little use looking to religious leaders for a solution. Thus the head of the Parramatta mosque first told the media to ‘F− off’. Following the PM’s lead, he waited a week before putting on a suit and finally telling his congregation the obvious − that if they didn’t like Australia they should leave. After a similar delay, the Grand Mufti, through an interpreter, refused to label the murder as a terrorist attack. As to the quantum of the problem, we’re constantly assured offenders are a tiny minority. So what is the attitude of members of the Muslim community? They’re likely to be similar to those in Europe. An EU survey has shown that about 8 per cent are favourable to Isis with 23 per cent undecided, not exactly a tiny minority. According to a survey by the WZB Berlin Social Science Center, fundamentalism is significantly greater among Muslims, with two thirds believing religious rules are more important to them than the laws of the country in which they live. Almost 60 per cent reject homosexuals as potential friends; 45 per cent think Jews can’t be trusted and that the West is out to destroy Islam.
Whatever the size of the problem, it is clear that many Western governments have allowed it to emerge without exercising due diligence. Apart from defence, there are not many government duties of significance equal to immigration. The point is that immigrants must only be chosen because they will make a positive contribution to the host country and that they will assimilate, that is, they genuinely endorse the host nations’ fundamental values and institutions. The exercise of the immigration power from Malcolm Fraser onwards, with the exception of the Howard and Abbott governments, had disastrous aspects. Contrast that with the post-war period which was a golden era. Welfare immigration just did not exist, and without the benefit of that superfluous academic invention, multiculturalism, migrants were treated as equals with Australians and by Australians. So much so, they thrived and prospered and became good citizens. Today, almost every Western country is under siege and is being undermined by the importation into the country of elements incompatible with its future welfare. From Sweden to Italy, Germany to Britain, the US and down to Australia, we see the same picture.
Australians overwhelmingly support an immigration policy indifferent to colour or race. But they are undoubtedly opposed to the bringing in of people whose ideological beliefs are incompatible with fundamental Australian values and institutions. The point is surely that in dealing with the enemy within, our leaders must come down hard and not choose the language or policy of appeasement. If Turnbull had put more time into learning these fundamentals from Abbott instead of plotting against him, he would understand what a leader should say and do.
But then he would not have knifed Abbott, would he?
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