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Top Counter-terrorism expert recommends Prophet Muhammad

Posted by Secular on May 1, 2019

Australia’s top national security and counter-terrorism expert says that the best way to counteract Islamic extremism is to explain that this is not what the Prophet Muhammad intended. He also says that virulent, militant interpretations of the Koran are not Islamic.

Dr Issac Kfir is the Director of the National Security Program at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. He is also Head of the Counter-terrorism Policy Centre. He was speaking about the Islamist atrocities in Sri Lanka on the ABC’s Religion and Ethics Report.

So, the strategic policy to deal with counter-terrorism, from Australia’s leading expert in the field, is to engage in a particular form of Islamic theology. This approach is inadequate, inappropriate and inane. It does not advance Australia’s national security. It puts it in peril. Dr Kfir should consider his position.

Firstly, public officials should not be advancing a specific religion, or religious view, as an instrument of public policy. What if, for example, Dr Kfir had recommended following Jesus, instead of Muhammad? It would be ludicrous to suggest such a thing as a solution to such a serious national and international problem.

Secondly, we take issue with the variant Islamic theology that Dr Kfir advocates. Militant interpretations of the Koran are indeed Islamic. Surely, the Islamic State has at least taught us that. When the Koran says that infidels should be beheaded (eg 8:12), it is not a “militant interpretation” to conclude that the Koran says that infidels should be beheaded. It is simply a literal reading of the Koran. Trying to interpret this as meaning something else is not a viable option for Australia’s public policy on terrorism.

Thirdly, we take issue with Dr Kfir’s recommendation that Islamic militants should follow the example of the Prophet Muhammad. The Prophet was a person who, according to legend, engaged in murder, insurrection, and mass beheadings and had a six-year-old wife. Recommending Muhammad as a role model for counter-terrorism is not a policy that Australia’s top expert on counter-terrorism should advocate.

What all this indicates is the malign power that religious modes of thinking have, even in areas where they have no place. It is as if religious views are sacrosanct, especially Islamic views, and are beyond any criticism or even rational evaluation.

We believe this must change. Public policy analysis must be objective, rational and evidence based. People are entitled to religious views, but these must not interfere with the public duty of officials.

Finally, effective deradicalisation measures must involve questioning entrenched beliefs. It may be suggested, for example that the Koran and other religious texts are of doubtful origin and need not, or should not, be taken literally. Those who have more doubt about their beliefs are less likely to act on them.

If ever there was an issue that demonstrates the need for more secularism in Australia, this is it.

Secular Party of Australia

Contact:
Harris Sultan 0434 421199
John Perkins  0411 143744
Senate candidates, Victoria

Secular Party of Australia
www.secular.org.au
PO Box 6004, Melbourne 3004

Links:
Transcript
http://www.secular.org.au/wp-content/uploads/ABC_Religion_and_Ethics_Report_24_4_2019.doc
ABC web site
https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/religionandethicsreport/sri-lanka/11043624
Audio
https://abcmedia.akamaized.net/rn/podcast/2019/04/rer_20190424.mp3
Dr Issac Kfir
https://www.aspi.org.au/bio/isaac-kfir

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