Ex-Aus PM Abbott defends comments calling for a need to ‘modernise’ Islam

"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," he said in a speech in Singapore.

By: AP | Singapore | Updated: December 9, 2015 8:52 pm
Tony Abbott, Abbott islam, Tony Abbott Islam, Abbott Islam remark, Former Australia prime minister Tony Abbott.

Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Wednesday defended his comments suggesting that Western culture is superior to that of Islam, and called for U.S.-led assistance in defeating the Islamic State group.

In a Sydney Daily Telegraph opinion piece published earlier in the day, Abbott, a staunch Catholic, wrote of a need to “modernize” Islam, saying it propagates a culture that is inferior to that of the West.

Critics associated his comments with those of U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who has proposed a controversial ban on all Muslim visitors to the U.S., with the exception of foreign Muslim leaders.

“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,” he said in a speech in Singapore.

Once you embrace the principle of killing in the name of God, “we have the war of all against all, until there is only one man, or one particular faith or version of faith left standing. Now, that is a recipe for catastrophe, absolute catastrophe,” he added.

In September, Abbott suggested that the Islamic State group was worse than the Nazis during World War II, angering members of the Jewish community.

“Islamic State has a simple but deadly message — submit or die. To most, a medieval fantasy, but rational enough to many Muslims based on their scriptures,” Abbott said Wednesday.

“We need to address the allure of Islamic State and part of that is defeating 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.”

While the main fight should ultimately be between local forces and the Islamic State group, more assistance should be rendered by outside powers such as the U.S. and Australia, Abbott said.

Abbott spent two years in office before being ousted in September by current leader Malcolm Turnbull in a Liberal Party coup, but is still involved in politics.

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  1. J
    Dec 11, 2015 at 5:05 pm
    Lets see how many Australian Jokers, aka - Sickulars, Communists, Leftists and die-hard Opportunists return their awards.
    1. K
      Dec 10, 2015 at 4:39 am
      I like Abbott because even as a political leader, he is not afraid to speak his mind even if it may not sound politically correct. Other leaders should take note.
      1. L
        lakshmi das
        Dec 10, 2015 at 3:15 pm
        do you really believe that all iraquis you guys killed in the name of eradicating WEAPONS OF M DESTRUCTION THAT MR HUSSAIN WAS MOVing around in iraqi cities were not innocent ? ABBOT wants us to believe that occupying these countries is superior religion's contribution to humanity?its for oil. in the name of religion more humans were killed than from all diseases together israel is the only country that won land in a war and never returned. arabs ,plo etc are the victims of religious brutality of christian faith.what a pity we fall for these guys ' tricks ?
        1. G
          George thakur
          Dec 10, 2015 at 9:31 pm
          Dear Lakshmi Das, while you are enled to harp on your opinion even if a decade plus stale, foul language adds no impetus to it. A good idea can be defeated ONLY with a better idea. Incidentally, how old are you?