Tony Abbott, the Prime Minister of Australia, has hit on a novel approach – or is it an obvious one? – for discouraging Muslim extremists within his country’s borders from committing acts of terrorism while present on Australian soil.

He’s cutting off their welfare benefits.

Abbott announced a new government policy to begin denying welfare benefits to individuals thought to be possible terror threats. Abbott pointed out that dozens of Australian residents, who in recent months were inspired by ISIS’s victories and atrocities to travel to the Middle East and put their shoulders to the terrorist wheel, had been receiving welfare benefits while in Australia.

Abbot also stated that his nation would begin revoking the citizenship of dual nationality persons who posed a high risk of conducting acts of terrorism. “For too long, we have given those who might be a threat to our country the benefit of the doubt.” Abbott announced. “We will never sacrifice our freedoms in order to defend them, but we will not let our enemies exploit our decency either.”

Echoing a call by Prime Minister Al Sisi of Egypt, who has emerged as a forward-looking leader in calling upon modern Islam to reform itself and to reject terrorist means and objectives, Abbott called on moderate Muslims within Australia to acknowledge and disavow the murderous movement that has emerged from within their faith.

“I’ve often heard Western leaders describe Islam as a religion of peace,” Abbott stated. “I wish more Muslim leaders would say that more often, and mean it.”

President G.W. Bush, out of a perhaps mistaken sense of gracious invitation, initiated the now-pervasive practice among Western leaders of characterizing Islam as a peaceful religion. To his credit, President Bush did attempt to vanquish our foes as he defined them.

But the characterization of Islam as a religion of peace goes against all evidence, and ignores historical evidence demonstrating that the religion’s professed purpose since its founding has been the creation of a Caliphate, or theocratic world empire.

President Obama has taken this mischaracterization to extremes. In recent weeks he has made clear his belief that ISIS’s mass murders and other violent extremism emerging from the Middle East has no basis in Islam, or even in a mistaken interpretation of Islam, but instead may be attributed to such root causes as a lack of economic opportunity and access to education. The Obama administration has in fact barred use of the term “Islamic terrorism” by government officials.

Prime Minister Abbott's actions present a welcome contrast. HIs refusal to allow terrorists to exploit Australian decency is a breath of fresh air, and shows us what a nation whose government expresses national self-respect looks like.


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