Former Australian PM Tells Islam to Get With the Times

by Rodney Pelletier  •  •  December 10, 2015   

Tony Abbott says Western culture is superior

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SINGAPORE ( - Former Australian prime minister Tony Abbot, no stranger to controversy, is defending his comment made Wednesday in the Australian press that Western culture is superior to Islamic culture and that Islam needs an update, needs to "modernize."

Abbott, a staunch Catholic and former seminarian, commented to a crowd in Singapore later that day: "I am more than ready to assert the superiority of a culture that is decent and humane, and welcoming, over a culture that thinks it's right to kill in the name of God."

His remedy for the allure of radicalism, especially ISIS, is to defeat it, "because as long as it survives, there is this idea that somehow it is of God, and if it fails, almost by definition, it is not." He further remarked that the main fighting should be done by local militant forces but with the assistance of the United States and Australia.

Ibrahim Abu Mohammed, the highest Islamic authority in Australia, bristled at Abbott's comments. "Islam is not in any need of reformation since the normative principles and practices of the religion allow Muslims to harmoniously coexist within pluralist societies that are based on the universal values of compassion and justice," he said.

With the late increase of Islamic fundamentalist terrorist attacks, people aren't too quick to confirm Mohammed'’s statement. Since Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump recently suggested that Muslims not be allowed to immigrate to the United States, his popularity has skyrocketed, making him the frontrunner in the bid for presidency.

France's crackdown on its Muslim population after terrorists killed 130 people in Paris in November has seen the shutdown of three mosques so far, the arrest of over 230 Muslims, and the seizure of "war-grade" weapons and radicalist literature.

Australia's immigration minister said of Abbott's position: "I think people need to look at what he said, and I think what he said is sensible."

But Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull disagreed, saying, "It is absolutely vital to ensure that we don't make the mistake, which is what the terrorists want us to do, of tagging every single Muslim with the responsibility for the crimes of a few."

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