Face of the day

Tony Abott

Tony Abbott

TONY Abbott has called for a religious revolution within Islam as he urges Australians to stop apologising for their Western values and culture.

Writing exclusively for The Daily Telegraph today ? a week before the anniversary of the Sydney Lindt Cafe siege ? the former prime ?minister warns of a ?clash of civilisations? unless Islam ?undergoes a global reform.

In an article likely to invite controversy, Mr Abbott says Australia and the West can no longer live in denial about the ?problem within Islam?, and that while most Muslims rejected terrorism, some were ?all too ready to justify ?death to the infidel?.?

?Islam needs to delegitimise the urge to ?behead all those who insult the Prophet? but only Muslims can do this,? Mr Abbott writes.

?Demonising Islam generally or all Muslims could bring on the ?clash of civilisations? that academic Samuel Huntington feared two decades back and make ?Islam?s bloody borders? even more dangerous.

?But we can?t remain in ?denial about the massive problem within Islam.

?Islam has never had its own version of the Reformation and the Enlightenment or a consequent acceptance of pluralism and the separation of church and state.?

Mr Abbott?s comments will be seen as reinforcing a growing number of Coalition MPs who have broken ranks with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and called on Muslim leaders to do more to counter violent extremism.

?Everyone interested in a safer world should reach out to ?live and let live? Muslims and encourage them to ?reclaim their faith from the zealots,? Mr Abbott writes.
?In Australia, that means talking to decent people who happen to be Muslim as well as to ?official? Muslims inclined to see ?Islamophobia? in any criticism.

?Surveys of British and French Muslims typically show up to 30 per cent sympathising with the aims if not the methods of Islamic State.

?Fortunately, there are numerous Muslim leaders who think their faith needs to modernise from the kill-or-be-killed milieu of the Prophet Mohammed.?
Praising US President Barack Obama for stepping up the military campaign against IS, Mr Abbott says it won?t be enough on its own.

?There also needs to be a concerted ?hearts and minds? campaign against the versions of Islam that make excuses for terrorists,? he writes.

Mr Abbott also warns of a cultural cringe preventing an honest debate about the issue and calls on Australians to proclaim the secular values on which the nation was built.

?It?s also time Australians stopped being apologetic about the values that have made our country as free, fair and prosperous as any on Earth,? Mr Abbott writes.

?It?s not culturally insensitive to demand loyalty to Australia … we should be ready to proclaim the clear superiority of our culture to one that justifies killing people in the name of God.?