An unintended consequence of the coup against Tony Abbott was that he was not available to put some spine into the deliberations of Western leaders after the Islamic State massacre in Paris . Unlike most of them, he has the common sense and strength to enunciate the two crucial themes for civilisation to prevail over this barbarism: secure borders and a military victory.
Moreover, he alone comes with a sound record on securing the borders.
The Turnbull government is playing with fire with the way it is running the Syrian refugee programme. It ignores the fact that Isis has declared that it will disguise its terrorists as refugees, amply demonstrated by Abdelhamid Abaaoud and his accomplices entering France and unleashing such seventh century barbarism on Paris. Turnbull claims that the government will properly vet all applicants, notwithstanding that no earlier vetting stopped Man Monis, Curtis Cheng’s murderer or others from committing acts of terrorism.
Turnbull should pay close attention to President Obama’s handpicked FBI chief, James B Comey. Under cross-examination by a key congressional committee in October, he conceded that with all the resources of the FBI, there is no satisfactory way Syrian refugees can be checked. The only vetting we can rely on is in solemn guarantees from Christian churches based in Australia who have reliable contacts in the Middle East.
When the Abbott government almost doubled our already generous refugee program last September, 12,000 places were set aside for family groups from persecuted minorities from Syria, principally Christians and other minorities. Only the Abbott government could do this because, like the Howard government, it was one of the very few in the democratic world who actually stopped people smuggling. This, it will we recalled, was against the unanimous predictions and the wishes of Turnbull’s close supporters, including the commentariat.
Apart from the security aspect, the moral imperative is surely that priority should be given to Christians. Israel apart, Christians are subject to persecution across the Middle East – in some countries, horribly so. A century ago they made up 20 per cent of the population. Because of their treatment, this has fallen today to 5 per cent. And unlike Muslims, Christian refugees will never be able to return, and there are no wealthy Middle Eastern countries where they could reasonably expect sanctuary.
This is not to say that there should be a rule against further Muslim immigration. The same tests which should apply to all immigrants should apply equally to them. And while there are many very good Muslim immigrants, the fact is that those from the Middle East and Africa are over-represented in a number of areas, from the prisons, proven or suspected terrorism and welfare dependence. In addition some have retained practices alien to Australian values – genital mutilation, welfare funded de facto polygamy, child and consanguineous marriages ( usually between first cousins), the suppression of women, the widespread imposition on all Australians of a private halal tax, and a tendency to establish ghettos, which on European experience can readily turn into autonomous no-go Islamic republics under sharia law.
One of the government’s answers to the most extreme problem, that is terrorism especially among the young, is their standard pro forma response. This is to spend vast sums of taxpayers’ funds on ‘silver bullet’ programs under some obscure alphabetic designation. In this instance they are CVE’s – programs ‘Controlling Violent Extremism’. But according to a widely reported study, they might as well pour the money down the drain.
Another government answer is to rely on the unreliable to stop the so-called radicalisation of youth – the Muslim leaders. The Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, tried this with absolutely no success. He called on the nation’s imams to reform Islam, somehow neutralising those many sacred texts which, contrary to the oft repeated opinions of numerous ill informed Western politicians, do authorise and do regularise the use of violence. But even the Egyptian President couldn’t get the result he wanted. There is no cleric and no authority strong enough in Islam to undertake such a monumental task.
Isis will only be defeated by those core Abbott policies of secure borders and military victory. Unlike the change of liberal leadership in 2009 which was about principle, the change in 2015 was about destabilisation, opportunism and ambition. Part of the deal was that Turnbull would not change fundamental Abbott policies, with the most important being national security,
But the Turnbull government is chipping away at this. They have moved particularly against Abbott’s description of the fundamental problem which most politicians try to avoid. This is best summarised in his famous, controversial but absolutely correct observation that while he had often heard Western leaders describe Islam as a ‘religion of peace’, he wished that ‘more Muslim leaders would say that more often, and mean it.”
The retreat from this was enunciated by Minister Christopher Pyne, clearly speaking for his master. He recently demanded that Australians stop calling on Muslim leaders to condemn outrages such as that in Paris.
And then, no doubt as a distraction from Abbott’s call for a military victory against Isis rather than the political solution Turnbull proposes, the PM and Ministers Bishop and Morrison first verballed Tony Abbott in suggesting that his call was for unilateral Australian action. As support for Abbott increased, Turnbull then desperately labelled it ‘anger-fuelled gestures or machismo’.
There are other indications of change. In the Australian Army, the ancient motto on Army chaplains’ badges is to go − because it could offend Muslims. And Sheik Mohamadu Nawas Saleem has been made a chaplain. He has called for the introduction of sharia law and has signed a petition supporting Hizb ut-Tahrir, which approves honour killings and Muslim students not singing our national anthem or honouring Anzac Day. Their leader, Ismail Alwahwah, has threatened Jews, ‘the most evil creatures’, with destruction. And while the Turnbull governmenr talks about countering radicalisation, Saleem’s views are to be imposed on our soldiers.
When it comes to national security, Turnbull compares poorly with Abbott, who was a powerful inspiration at home and, especially, abroad.
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