Muslim Religion is not peaceful
As Australia starts air strikes against IS in Iraq, the Chief of Defence Force, Mark Binskin, has published a letter in The Australian declaring that the terrorist threat is not about religion and that the Muslim religion is peaceful (see “Threat is from criminals” below). This is a worrying development. The recent attempted murder of two policemen produced commentary by leaders of some Islamic groups and preachers which did not rule out the use of violence by fellow Muslims. The apparent acceptance by some of violent behaviour as a component of Islam is well established in various analyses and is reflected not only in the activities of Islamic State but in numerous other extremist Islamic groups also. Arguably, Australia faces more of a threat from internal extremists than from Islamic State.
Andrew Bolt refers below (see “Islam’s violent tendencies”) to the quotes from Islam’s sacred texts used by IS at least 25 times. These texts urge or condone violence. Today’s front page story in the Herald Sun (see “Australia:11 suspected jihad terrorists nabbed at airports, had images of beheadings and Islamic jihad propaganda”) reports that, on August 27, five people were offloaded from a flight and “images of beheadings and other violent Islamist propaganda on electronic devices” were found (Note that this appears to reflect an upgrading of policy regarding checking of luggage etc by customs and police officials). In his report from the Syria-Turkish border (see Extremists near Syria-Turkish border a moving, shape-shifting target”, John Lyons points out that there are many groups which are equally violent to IS – he claims US intelligence estimates no less than 1500 in Syria alone, with three having the same values (sic) and brutality as IS .
As previously suggested, the reality is that Australia and the Western world, including Israel, is confronting violent groups which are “inspired” by the Muslim religion, which seek additional weaponry including nukes, and which will not hesitate to use them (see “Islamic State eyes nuclear secrets as it gears for war with Iran”). True, this is also a problem for some Muslim countries and there is concern there too, as indicated by the “help” provided to the US air strikes etc.
It is absurd for our Defence Force chief to suggest that the religion followed by all these groups is peaceful, as it is for Australian Ministers.
Even though it is clearly an objectionable form of dress, and appears in many cases to reflect a dominance of men over women, the reluctance of the government to single out the burka for banning is understandable. Any critique should form part of a wide-ranging commentary to the effect that Australia expects immigrants to recognise western standards and values.
New Treasury Head?
Reports in today’s press suggest that former Treasury Deputy Sec, John Fraser, is likely to be appointed the new head of Treasury even though he has been out of the public service for more than 20 years. He was an excellent senior Treasury officer when I resigned in 1987 and would be an excellent head now.