Libs backpedal from Abbott

The Australian tries to make the Libs appear firm today as they back down in the face of ASIO and military warnings against inflammatory Abbott speak:

Liberal MPs say politicians have a duty to engage in an “open and honest” debate about Islamic ­extremism, and one senator has warned that telephone calls from the nation’s top spy chief about how to talk about radicalisation could dampen free speech.

The Australian yesterday ­revealed that ASIO director-­general Duncan Lewis had phoned Coalition MPs to urge them to use soothing language when publicly discussing violent extremism, as had been the ­approach of Malcolm Turnbull.

Declaring the phone calls a “very unwelcome revelation”, West Australian Liberal senator Dean Smith said it was “not the behaviour” that people would expect from the head of ­Australia’s primary intelligence agency.

“The risk is that this has a chilling effect on the ability of MPs and the community to exercise free speech on these matters,” Senator Smith told The Australian.

“These sorts of things are ­better said publicly than left to operate in the shadows of the Australian community. I would argue for an honest and respectful debate about Islam and all ­religions in Australia.” Senator Smith said he had not been called by Mr Lewis.

Honest and respectful, yes. Abbott no. There is more but it is all mild-mannered and reasonable. The last word (yeh, right) should go to Laura Tingle who sums it up nicely:

The same people who rail about the threats from Islam take spectacular liberties – against official advice – with our national interest, purely in support of furthering their political agenda of damaging the new prime minister. Lewis has apparently been quietly ringing around Coalition MPs who have been urging Islam to ‘reform itself’ telling them their comments risked becoming a danger to national security.

…Abbott said in an interview last week that he still had “a contribution to make to public life”.

The trouble is that, every time he sticks his head up, he only gives cause for voters to reflect on just what a miserable and destructive contribution that has been; to look on his prime ministership as an embarrassing aberration; and wish as 2015 draws to a close that the man would just go away.

And that should be the ultimate calculus for the Libs at this point. The more Abbott we get the less popular they will be.

David Llewellyn-Smith
Latest posts by David Llewellyn-Smith (see all)

Comments

  1. Abbott didnt doo well in the polls, but he stopped the refuguees coming by boat.
    Some one else has let all theses other refugees in. AND
    VVP says the Donald is a good bloke, HE’s correct again
    Where we are headed we need strong leaders, not pansies who cower to tax minimising corporations.
    Turnstile is now toast. Who is next..

    • Spending over 1 billion dollars to lock up a few thousand refugees is not a good outcome. Neither is spending 55 million to resettle 4 refugees in Cambodia. It’s both expensive and inhumane, and if this is ‘success’, I would hate to see what ‘failure’ looks like.

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      It is revolting to listen to the Abbott mob with their crocodile tears for freedom of speech,… yet they shut down debate and prevent media and NGO access to your beloved concentration camps WW.
      Workers their can be prosecuted and jailed for expressing their fredom of speech by simply informing the public what goes on there.
      If your feeling wronged by demographic changes WW try focusing your fury on the wealth immigration population ponzi,… not busted arsed refo’s.

    • In regard to ‘stopping the boat’s. Australia’s refugee policy since Tampa has failed on every metric. It has unnecessarily wasted the lives of people, the money of the nation and too many hours to pointless political point scoring around who can be cruellest. It is just one big political distraction.
      Some dunderheads in the Liberal Party now hope to get the same leverage from the Syrian crisis. People who have to deal with the consequences of the actions of the aforementioned dunderheads, and who also appear to have the interest of the public in mind, are now telling the dunderheads to think before speaking. And they cry out that they are oppressed.
      How about, Abbott and co can say what they please and the press is allowed access to all of the refugee prisons.

      • No Tampa worked very well.

        However, there will come a day where Indonesia does a Turkey and we will be swamped. And when they really start coming, they will come in their millions. And nothing, absolutely nothing we could do will stop them.

      • @footsore — and not only that but personally I’d sooner have some of those brave & resourceful Afghans & Syrians etc than a lot of the white rubbish that brought us glassing’s , knifing & head butting -not to mention whinging.

    • adelaide_economistMEMBER

      “Where we are headed we need strong leaders, not pansies who cower to tax minimising corporations.”

      Well that certainly wasn’t Abbott. He seemed quite happy to remain ‘guided’ by BA Santamaria in terms of social issues but on economic issues he was extreme neo-liberal. I don’t know how anyone could represent Abbott’s position as anything but cowering to corporations and/or very high wealth individuals. Whatever or whoever Australia needs Abbott certainly wasn’t it.

      • All the morality in the world for a holy war (that no-one but the nutbags want), none for corporate cronyism, nepotism and corruption that riddles our institutions. A patsy and a fool.

      • The absence of a fair taxation system that taxes foreign multinationals has been a blight on many governments but came to a head under Abbott. At least the issue is now addressed to some degree. The changes are unimaginative, and only partly remedy the conventional failures that advanced tax planning ensures. The changes are insufficiently brutal.

  2. reusachtigeMEMBER

    Pussies! They’re weak. It’s hilarious that Abbott is becoming the strength in leadership. It’s like the Labor rubbish all over again.

    • It’s like Labor all over…except Rudd was actually popular. Trust the Liberals to copy a completely destructive pattern of behaviour and make it worse by picking someone as unpopular as Abbott.

      I wonder if 3d will enjoy Killing Season S2 as much as he did S1.

      • It is not goal for Abbott himself to comeback but to take Turnbull down enough that they can put someone else in.

      • It is not goal for Abbott himself to comeback but to take Turnbull down enough that they can put someone else in.

        +1

        Abbot’s a wrecker, a coward and a thug. He doesn’t know how to do anything else.

      • “It is not goal for Abbott himself to comeback but to take Turnbull down enough that they can put someone else in.”

        Who on earth would that be though? ScoMo’s out, as is Bishop. The last I heard was that Dutton was the conservatives great hope. Dutton!

      • Dutton. I’ve always thought of him as a cross between Frank Spencer and Rigsby (Rising Damp). Too inept to do anything on his own, but oh so willing to be macho behind closed doors, or when he thinks the sound boom can’t hear him 🙂

      • As much as Turnbull worries me – I cannot see Abbott coming back under any circumstances.

        Abbott, much like Steve Jobs, seems to have a ‘reality distortion field’ about him which nullifies any criticism (usually by excuse or blame shifting) and amplifies praise. Trust me, Abbott thinks this is just a temporary setback.

        In Abbott’s mind his comments (and popping his head up) are helping the Liberals, and any negative personal polling is just a statistical fraud propagated by specific people who don’t like him.

      • In Abbott’s mind his comments (and popping his head up) are helping the Liberals, and any negative personal polling is just a statistical fraud propagated by specific people who don’t like him.

        A belief which seems prevalent throughout the Liberal Party.

      • @Sydboy007
        Dutton is the closest thing to Abbott in the Liberal Party.
        They may well put him up, The Walking Labotomy

  3. Free speech should be protected, whether it’s an Islamic or conservative loon. It is mad to self censor

    • Abbott’s a ratbag and was our worst ever PM. Still though, he’s an elected representative and should be able to say whatever he likes as long as it’s not illegal. The people of his electorate will then make the decision at the next election about whether they want him to continue to represent them. That’s how the system works.

      It may well be best if Abbott pulls his head in, but I really don’t like the idea of spooks calling people and telling them to do so. I certainly wouldn’t like to get such a call from the nice people at ASIO. If head-pulling is advisable, it should be Turnbull doing the advising.

      Sigh. It’s a bloody topsy-turvy world where I’m defending the actions of Tony Abbott.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        “but I really don’t like the idea of spooks calling people and telling them to do so.”

        Sure, but a public “stop being a dickhead mate” from an ASIO guy is acceptable when an elected representative is potentially contributing to a problem (negatively) that said AISO guy has to deal with.

      • Terror Australis

        “Free speech” doesn’t mean you can say anything you like, anywhere, anytime.

        It isn’t license to say things publicly that can get people killed.

      • Duncan Lewis didn’t say not to talk about Islam, he requested the rhetoric be toned down. Someone of Lewis’s calibre would not have taken the decision lightly and made on an evidence assessment. I’ve also no doubt that Lewis’s hand would have been forced after repeated requests passed through official channels were ignored. Seriously, we have some dumb fuck politicians in this country but thankfully we have people like Lewis to do what’s needed.

      • How come the Mad Monk is free to travel around the World sprouting rubbish when he’s being paid a salary as an MP & supposed to be here in Australia representing those idiots that elected him ? He’s now a mere back bencher so on whose authority does the clown get a leave pass?

    • I see your point, but an outsider (and a much loathed one at that) telling a group that they need to reform themselves is about as insulting as you can get. It’s just not helpful.

      • FiftiesFibroShack

        Abbott et al. aren’t trying to help, they’re just trying to boost their political prospects. Look at the way that lot used national security when Abbott was in charge. They’re a disgrace to public service and don’t have an honourable bone in their bodies. I laughed when it came out that Abbott has a “Dishonourables” list. The guy is a psychologist’s wet dream.

    • While Free Speech is a noble ideal, inflaming religious tensions against national interest for scoring political points is not very smart. Abbott is also incorrect, and he knows it. The ‘reformation’ of Islam did occur , it gave us Wahhabism : returning to the days of the Prophet with hand-cutting, head-chopping and spreading Islam by the sword. This wouldn’t be such an issue except that their backer, the Saudi, have lots of money from oil. If Abbott wants to tell the truth instead of taking a piss at MT, he should have mentioned the Saudi.

      • adelaide_economistMEMBER

        @Ronin8317

        Agreed.

        The irony in Abbott doing everything he could to wreck renewable energy in favour of keeping us dependent on fossil fuels (including of course, oil, of which we are not self-sufficient) which at least indirectly funds the Saudis and their export of hardline islam never ceases to amaze me. It just shows how his hardline conservatism is based in sloganism rather than a pragmatic consideration of actual facts.

      • And whenever someone suggests that the government should switch over to hybrid and electric cars, some moron will say “oh buy you still get pollution from coal power stations”.

        Yeah, but then you would be importing less oil from KSA. And electric cars do not idle at traffic lights.

    • adelaide_economistMEMBER

      I can’t help but wonder if some of the outrage is from the very same politicians who have happily waived through all kinds of legislation stripping us of privacy. They no doubt know more than most of us how our security organisations now have incredible powers of surveillance and very probably the ability to effectively silence even members of Parliament. I’m pretty sure they never expected it would be used (even indirectly) as a way to intimidate their patriotic selves. Well done guys!

    • Quite right Andynyc. I do not think that self censorship does our democracy any favours. The spooks can offer their opinions as to what is said, Abbot is free to disregard them if he chooses, as is everyone else.

    • “It is mad to self censor”

      Self censoring in this case means “ASIO chief Duncan Lewis called just two MPs about the political debate around Islam, and neither of those has complained about the calls, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said.” Sounds like pretty strong censorship.

  4. Hello press goons. You don’t have print or show all these stupid irrational inflamitory things our low standard pollies puke out. Oh… and now your happy to start pointing out that Abbot is nothing but a cancer on this county and it’s people, when it’s been apparent to rational people for the last 8 years. Fuck off!

  5. TailorTrashMEMBER

    The great Irish comedian Dave Alan used to end each of his TV shows with the words ” Good night and may your God go with you ” for a man born on an island that at times was ravaged with religious hatred and violence ( when religion got seriously mixed up with politics ) this was a lovely viewpoint.
    Australia is a country where all people can have their own God and go to their own church ,synagogue ,temple or mosque . You can have your God here but don’t try to stop me having mine seems to be the fair go Aussie way . I have no time for Tony Abbott as primeminister but he as everyone should have a right to put up ideas and discussions . Better to have a conflict of words than resort to the knife or the AK 47 . Pussy footing a round one religion in case of offence is not the Australian way. Let the Imans step forward and argue their case ….and refute Mr Abbott’s arguments ……….no problem ……..ASIO telling us what to say or how to say is not the way . Don’t talk a about Islam now ………and then what other “inflammatory” subject should we next discourage?………..I’m sure there are plenty ……keep up the open discussion I say………Australia will be healthier for it ……..and “may your God go with you “

    • TT,
      Please, where has ASIO said NOT to talk about islam? What they have asked is not to use inflammatory language, that is all. If I was muslim I’d be tired of having people in my face saying “prove you’re one of us” constantly.

    • Terror Australis

      Fortunately, nothing bad has ever happened when people start being critical of their neighbors faith.

      Because “religion” is a topic that naturally lends itself to rational, calm, unimpassioned discussion.

      • You seem to be suggesting that Islam (or religion in general) should be off limits to criticism, because if it’s criticised then Muslims will cause trouble.

        I totally disagree. People should be able to criticise religions, and the adherents of the religions should be encouraged to engage in debate and refute the criticisms in an open an civilised manner.

        If we get to the point of restricting reasonable public debate about group “x”, out of the fear that otherwise the members of group “x” will become violent then we will be ruled by fear, and we will be lost. The solution is not restriction on free speech whether self or externally imposed, it is for members of group “x” to abandon violence and adhere to the norms of civilised society.

      • You seem to be suggesting that Islam (or religion in general) should be off limits to criticism, because if it’s criticised then Muslims will cause trouble.

        No he’s not.

        He’s saying religion is a topic on which discussions tend to very quickly escalate into completely unproductive rhetoric. Which, given its foundation in completely irrational beliefs, shouldn’t surprise anyone – politics is practically a science by comparison.

        Nobody is saying don’t talk about religion. They’re saying don’t open with something like ‘every muslim is an unapolegetic baby-eating gang-rapist because that’s what Islam teaches’.

        Or are you a believe in the right to shout FIRE in a crowded theatre ?

      • It’s not just religious people who spout unproductive rhetoric. Bolshevik wannabees who spout ‘Islamophobia’ as a way to shut down critical conversational examination about Islam make the leaders of Daesh very happy as they know a large part of the war is an information war.

      • A discussion about sky fairies is not the place I would automatically look for “debate and refute of criticism in an open and civilized manner”.

      • Ronin… so people should not burn the koran but can burn the bible.. This is the position as I understand it in the UK.. Is this a satisfactory state of affairs? Doesn’t this make free speech negotiable? Take the example of Geller having the Mohamed cartoon contest in the US and the two terrorists who were killed there. Should those who exercise this right to free speech be constrained by the threat of Islamic violence? Your answer I presume would be yes.

        Edit. Well said Caitlin +2

      • Terror Australis

        Burning religious texts, religious symbols, human effigies, flags and similar acts SHOULD come under a blanket provision against “hate crimes” since the purpose is not to promote rational dialogue but merely incite violence.

        Regardless of who is targeted.

    • TailorTrashMEMBER

      My point remains the same . People in Australia should feel free to debate religion while protecting the right of everyone to follow whatever faith they choose to believe. Tony Abbott put forward some views …..I’m not sure what is particularly inflammitory about them ……….I know he went to a catholic seminary so I’m sure they are based on his theological studies there ………..so let the Imans and experts in Islam come forward and put him in his place …………… They have the freedom here in Australia to do that ……shutting down debate because it might lead to violence is not the answer

      E purlibus unum ……………oh! sorry ! …………that’s the motto of the United States ……not pussyfooting politically correct Australia ……….( and yes the U.S. Is very politically correct now ……..but Mr Jefferson and co had the right idea to start ) ……..

      • Your SURE, how so? Abbott has never been ‘considered’ in anything he talks about, so I would really love to know how it is you’ve come to that conclusion, or is it just trash talk?

  6. It’s an interesting observation. The American Journal of Political Science has published some Stanford / Princeton research that shows, in the US, that discrimination based on politics far exceeds discrimination based on race.
    From the streams of vitriol and profanity here and elsewhere towards Tony/Libs and Bill/Labor, it seems the same findings could be applied here in Australia.
    So, as much as I dislike politicians, I’m starting to think they serve a useful purpose: as a target for all the frustrations and anger of our petty suburban lives. Better it be directed to them than toward our ethnic minorities.

  7. The trouble is that, every time he sticks his head up, he only gives cause for voters to reflect on just what a miserable and destructive contribution that has been; to look on his prime ministership as an embarrassing aberration; and wish as 2015 draws to a close that the man would just go away.

    Pretty much nails it. Which only amplifies the need for the Liberals to do something about him. They should deal with him like they do other troublesome party ‘greybeards’, offer him the plumest gig around – which for him would probably be Ambassador to the UK.

  8. What sort of a nation have we become. Intolerant of non pc opinion. Fully immersed in worship of the culture of complaint. Offended by “offence” however trivial or illusory. Pathetic.

    Abbott has said no more than very well regarded commentators like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Sam Harris, Maajid Nawaz, Maryam Namazie when calling for reformation of Islam.

    It may be incongruous that Islamic reformation has become Abbott’s calling card of late but it is not the travesty it is made out to be. Perhaps Abbott is a man who feels deeply: a country he loves, a religion he practices, a culture he respects. Is it wrong to speak out against an aggressive political religious school of Islam that would happily see the end of all he holds close?

    Of course not.

    • adelaide_economistMEMBER

      If Abbott had any kind of basic scholarship in religions other than his own I think having him call for a religious reformation might hold a bit more water? If he didn’t have a track record of decades of public life saying inappropriate, simplistic and offensive things in public without regard to his position as a member of Parliament?

      It’s one thing for the frothy mouthed commentariat on the Australian to make inflammatory statements that no-one but themselves read and another entirely for an ex-PM who knows his comments will be widely reported making what he knows (based presumably on him actually reading any of the security briefs he received as PM) are going to be unhelpful public statements.

      • That why I said Abbott’s new found crusade may seem incongruous. I agree that had he some established background like those I mention above, his cautions may have carried more weight. That said, I rather suspect he has become obsessed with the topic and is in all likelihood now well informed – he’s certainly read Ayaan Hirsi Ali and probably Sam Harris – to judge from his public comment.

        Doesn’t change my point though – this country should be mature enough to withstand robust discussion. It clearly is not.

    • Ayaan Hirsi Ali? She is about as anti-Islam as you can get, and she sells book by touting her ‘ex-Muslim’ credential. She doesn’t want to reform Islam, she wants to get rid of it.

      • If you’ve read her books you’ll see she has good reason. She’s a realist, she knows the religion is here to stay, so why not reform the unsavoury aspects and in the process make life for millions of practising Muslims far better.

    • It’s got nothing to do with offence or PC, it’s about basic diplomacy, something that Abbott has always been terrible at.

      Social groupings and tribes don’t take kindly to criticism and demands of the tribe from people outside the tribe, it’s just human nature.

      Furthermore, you don’t get someone to see your point of view by punching them in the face, calling their ways stupid or making demands of them. It’s something that Abbott has never grasped and it’s why he was a terrible leader once the major enemy (the ALP) was thoroughly beaten.

      If Abbott wanted to actually be productive in the battle against extremism then he would be working closely with community leaders of the Muslim faith, keeping quiet himself while lobbying behind closed doors.

    • Reformation of Islam is not possible. I will quote another prescient opponent of Islam, the late Christopher Hitchens.

      “Now to Islam. It is, first, a religion that makes very large claims for itself, purporting to be the last and final word of God and expressing an ambition to become the world’s only religion. Some of its adherents follow or advocate the practice of plural marriage, forced marriage, female circumcision, compulsory veiling of women, and censorship of non-Muslim magazines and media. Islam’s teachings generally exhibit suspicion of the very idea of church-state separation. Other teachings, depending on context, can be held to exhibit a very strong dislike of other religions, as well as of heretical forms of Islam. Muslims in America, including members of the armed forces, have already been found willing to respond to orders issued by foreign terrorist organizations. Most disturbingly, no authority within the faith appears to have the power to rule decisively that such practices, or such teachings, or such actions, are definitely and utterly in conflict with the precepts of the religion itself.

      Reactions from even “moderate” Muslims to criticism are not uniformly reassuring. “Some of what people are saying in this mosque controversy is very similar to what German media was saying about Jews in the 1920s and 1930s,” Imam Abdullah Antepli, Muslim chaplain at Duke University, told the New York Times. Yes, we all recall the Jewish suicide bombers of that period, as we recall the Jewish yells for holy war, the Jewish demands for the veiling of women and the stoning of homosexuals, and the Jewish burning of newspapers that published cartoons they did not like. What is needed from the supporters of this very confident faith is more self-criticism and less self-pity and self-righteousness

      • What is needed from the supporters of this very confident faith is more self-criticism and less self-pity and self-righteousness“

        As Martin Luther might have said of Tony Abbot’s religion, and would probably say again if he suddenly rose from the grave.

      • @ Stat
        Even Luther would today recognise a substantively reformed Church, and if anything would probably reel from the reality that the reformation was ultimately a stepping stone to a pervasively secular society that is free to deny and reject God.

        Would Luther would be on the side of a clash about civilisation (which realistically needs to enjoin as many of Muslim faith as possible) as opposed to the clash of civilisations that Isis is engaged in ? I wonder.

    • @ 3d1k – – Abbott is a known nut job who was overeager to help the Yanks by saying any BS he could against Russia –also desperately eager to get Australian boots & equipment into ANY WAR the Yanks started. A F%&*# bad assed fruit loop – one of who’s first purchases was a armored Merc !

      We wouldn’t have any so called “terrorist” threats here in Australia IF we kept our nose out & let the real terrorist nation (USA) clean up its own MESSes We’re spending billions to side with real terrorists!! Any blowback is ultimately well deserved.

  9. “Bolshevik wannabees who spout ‘Islamophobia’ as a way to shut down critical conversational examination about Islam make the leaders of Daesh very happy as they know a large part of the war is an information war.”

    Yeah, it’s not like ISIS wants people to develop an us versus them mentality just like dickheads like Abbott do.

  10. FiftiesFibroShack

    It still surprises me the number of people that don’t understand why people are telling Abbott et al. to shut up. Government agencies need intelligence from the Muslim community, and that will be harder to come by if members of government foment angst and distrust with members of that community.

    • Firstly, Abbott’s said nothing offensive.
      Secondly, he’s not alone in calling for reformation within Islam.
      Thirdly, if such modest statements inspire radicalisation or violence, Abbott is correct in suggesting reform.
      Fourthly, given to date radicalisation has occurred sans reform discussion, Abbott is correct in suggesting reform.
      Fifth, given ASIO completely missed Man Monis, I wish them well, whatever the turn of events.

      Starting points for discussion of reform, famous utterances from an Ayatollah.

      “An Islamic regime must be serious in every field,”
      “There are no jokes in Islam.
      There is no humour in Islam.
      There is no fun in Islam.”

      “A man can have sex with animals such as sheeps, cows, camels and so on. However, he should kill the animal after he has his orgasm. He should not sell the meat to the people in his own village; however, selling the meat to the next door village should be fine.”

      “If one commits the act of sodomy with a cow, an ewe, or a camel, their urine and their excrements become impure, and even their milk may no longer be consumed. The animal must then be killed and as quickly as possible and burned.”

      “This regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time.”

      “If one permits an infidel to continue in his role as a corrupter of the earth, his moral suffering will be all the worse. If one kills the infidel, and this stops him from perpetrating his misdeeds, his death will be a blessing to him.”

      “A man can marry a girl younger than nine years of age, even if the girl is still a baby being breastfed. A man, however is prohibited from having intercourse with a girl younger than nine, other sexual act such as forplay, rubbing, kissing and sodomy is allowed.”

      “We do not worship Iran, we worship Allah. For patriotism is another name for paganism. I say let this land [Iran] burn. I say let this land go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant in the rest of the world.”

      Plus an end to the estimated 100-140million female genital mutilations that have taken place, three million girls currently at risk, nearly 8,000 a day.

      Put Submission by Michel Houellebecq in your Christmas stocking.

      • Boo! Everyone scared yet – i’m sure we can post an equally banal list of comments from many other religious leaders that nobody with any intelligence follows.

        More tripe from the 3d warmonger that, of course, chooses not to send his own child to war (that’s for other people’s kids, probably the poor or marginalised, that don’t work for big corporate lobby groups, and are easily manipulated…)

      • It’s a good thing he’s dead and no longer able to issue Fatwa. Iran’s marriage age is now 15 for female, and 18 for male. Saudi Arabia on the other hand..

      • @AJ
        Who’s talking about going to war ? We’re talking about the first principle of even being able to discuss and criticise Islam from a non-Muslim perspective. Show me the American protestant fundamentalist movement which has the power of a State to legislate for child marriage and the compulsory veiling and segregation of women ?

      • Who’s talking about going to war ?

        Nobody anymore, since we’ve been in someone else’s (as usual) on the other side of world for the last decade or so. However, morally bankrupt warmongers like Abbot are tangibly desperate to bring it home to our shores, which is why he tries to create as much conflict and divisiveness as possible.

        We’re talking about the first principle of even being able to discuss and criticise Islam from a non-Muslim perspective.

        Who is being prevented from doing this ?

        Show me the American protestant fundamentalist movement which has the power of a State to legislate for child marriage and the compulsory veiling and segregation of women ?

        How is that even vaguely relevant ?

      • FiftiesFibroShack

        “Firstly, Abbott’s said nothing offensive.”

        To who, you? I’m not a Muslim and can’t speak for what they might find offensive, neither can you.

        “Secondly, he’s not alone in calling for reformation within Islam.”

        That doesn’t excuse a stupid course of action for a politician. He’s a member of government that works with an agency that requires intelligence from the Muslim community. Let’s leave the reformation calls to intelligent commentators that aren’t just self-interested political opportunists.

        “Thirdly, if such modest statements inspire radicalisation or violence, Abbott is correct in suggesting reform.”

        ASIO didn’t say it would inspire radicalisation or violence, ASIO said it could make gathering intelligence more difficult. You seem to be really struggling with this. It really seems to be deliberate ignorance at this point.

        “Fourthly, given to date radicalisation has occurred sans reform discussion, Abbott is correct in suggesting reform.”

        That’s some strong logic. Use your head.

        “Fifth, given ASIO completely missed Man Monis, I wish them well, whatever the turn of events.”

        Mate, that’s pathetic.

        Put this in your Christmas stocking http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/thinking-logically-deduction-and-induction.html

      • @ smithy
        Well, it appears your progressive predilections have prevented you from properly parsing that particular paragraph.

  11. Lot’s of interesting comment and while Laura Tingle’s contribution was probably the most erudite I have to say I laughed out loud at Wing Nut’s succinct summary:
    Abbott: the turd you can’t flush.