While it adds nothing of substance to the existing government policy on national security or on the reasons for Australia to be involved in attacking IS, Abbott’s statement on national security (see below) will doubtless be welcomed by most. But it is unfortunate that the almost complete concentration on overseas activists is on IS as the evil force.
This overlooks the violence advocated and committed by other radical Islamic groups as well as the financing of radical groups by oil rich Islamic countries such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia (the article below on the financing by Qatartells a remarkable story on this and implies an undue influence on UK policy). It is also both wrong to suggest that IS’s actions are “simply unprecedented” and misguided by implying that once IS is destroyed or downgraded the Islamic problem is solved. We have just seen, for example, the anniversary of the Kenyan shootings, the recent activities of the Nigerian Boko Haram group (reportedly using young girls as suicide bombers), the takeover of Libya by an extremist “Libya Dawn”, and reports of increases in Indonesians leaving to fight in Syria and Iraq.
It also lets the Muslim religion off the hook by neglecting the preaching and web support for jihadism. It is one thing to talk and write that “moderate” Muslims do not support such action but that does not tell us how either we or the moderates should differentiate or respond to the violent interpreters – or for that matter who exactly are the moderates. To rely on advice or statements by “our own Grand Mufti” would be most unwise.