Immigration: Australian Federal MPs call to Reform Islam
honest debate about the ideas driving Islamic extremism
November 30, 2015 – Ellen Whinnett – Herald Sun
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WAR hero turned MP Andrew Hastie is leading a call for an “honest debate’’ on the links between Islamic teaching and terrorism.
Mr Hastie, a former SAS commander who did three tours of duty in Afghanistan, has been joined by several Coalition colleagues in calling for a reform or modernisation of Islam.
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“Modern Islam needs to cohere with the Australian way of life, our values and institutions. In so far as it doesn’t, it needs reform,’’ Mr Hastie told the Herald Sun.
Victorian MP Michael Sukkar identified a lack of a reformation within Islam — similar to the one undergone in Christianity — as contributing to “medieval teachings and practices’’.
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The comments from the MPs come amid growing concern within Government ranks that the public debate about Islamic State terrorists is white washing links between Islamic teachings and extremist ideology.
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The views contrast with those of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who has described Islamic State as godless terrorists who “defame and blaspheme Islam’’.
Victorian-based Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg was the first to break ranks yesterday by saying: “I would say there is a problem within Islam.’’
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Mr Hastie, who fought against Islamist extremists in Afghanistan, then said he believed the time had come for an “honest debate about the ideas driving Islamic extremism’’.
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He praised Mr Frydenberg, who is Jewish, and agreed: “There is a problem with Islam.’’
Mr Hastie said the debate about what was driving Islamist extremism was “clouded by political correctness’’.
“We don’t have a problem with Muslim Australians but we do have a problem with a small part of the community which subscribes to radical extremism,’’ he said.
Like Mr Frydenberg, he criticised the Grand Mufti of Australia, Ibrahim Abu Mohammed, who condemned the terror attacks in Paris but initially highlighted “causative factors’’ such as Islamophobia, racism, and foreign policy.
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Mr Hastie said he had watched more than 60 Islamic State videos of atrocities such as executions, and believed he had a “pretty good sense of what makes them tick’’.
He cited Mark Durie, an Anglican Church pastor and writer, and agreed with him that IS “makes multiple references to the Koran to justify its actions’’.
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Earlier, Mr Frydenberg had told Sky: “We need to ¬acknowledge the significance of this threat, to acknowledge that religion is part of this problem, and thirdly, because this is the key point, we need to deal with it at a hard edge — with a military response — but we also need to deal with it with a counter-narrative.”
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Mr Sukkar backed Mr Frydenberg and said comments such as the Grand Mufti’s did not show the leadership required “in order to win the hearts and minds of those who could be radicalised’’.

“It’s clear that Islam hasn’t had the same reformation that occurred in Christianity which means some of these medieval teachings and practices have not been stamped out,’’ he said.
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Andrew Nikolic, another senior soldier turned MP, said the ASIO Act needed to be changed to include religious and ideologically driven ¬terrorism. Mr Nikolic, who served in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and ¬Afghanistan, said IS had “hijacked’’ Islam for barbaric purposes .
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MP Craig Kelly said Mr Frydenberg was not the only one identifying a problem within Islam, pointing to Egyptian President Fattah el-Sisi, who has called for a debate on the root causes of extremism.
“I know this is a difficult and sensitive debate but we need to have it,’’ Mr Kelly said.

WHAT THEY SAID
“Modern Islam needs to cohere with the Australian way of life, our values and institutions. In so far as it doesn’t, it needs reform.”
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Andrew Hastie, Liberal, Canning, WA
“We need to acknowledge the significance of this threat, to acknowledge that religion is part of this problem.”
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Josh Frydenberg, Liberal, Kooyong, Vic
“It’s clear that Islam hasn’t had the same reformation that occurred in Christianity which means some of these mediaeval teachings and practices have not been stamped out.”
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Michael Sukkar, Liberal, Deakin, Vic
“If you look at recent terror attacks around the world, they are suicide bombings where people kill not only themselves but innocent people.”
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Craig Kelly, Liberal, Hughes, NSW
“It’s got everything to do with Islam. The terrorists say as they are doing it that it is in the name of Allah.”
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George Christensen, LNP, Dawson, Qld
“People don’t commit mass murder because they don’t have a job or because of our foreign policy. They do so because of their warped ideology — an ideology that must be challenged.”
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http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/islam-must-change-war-hero-mp-andrew-hastie-leads-radical-push/news-story/039933aae6375358724ad7c63f4ee9e7
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