Anyone else disturbed by the tone of the anti-terror debate?

A

Is anyone else disturbed by the tone of the anti-terror discussion? We have the PM calling for heads to roll at the ABC because a guy who was acquitted of terror offences and has since renounced his support for jihad asks some pointed questions on Q & A; the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection not only wanting the right to unilaterally strip citizenship from Australians he suspects of fighting with ISIS but declaring he doesn`t want the courts second guessing him; and the Leader of the Opposition welcoming the deaths of those Australians fighting with ISIS.

It seems that in the rush to combat terror we are surrendering the very things that make us strong and rushing headlong into the abyss of hatred, censorship and lawlessness that mark illiberal societies. This is not the time to waver in our commitment to the rule of law, the protection of freedoms, and the primacy of love but to assert them more strongly than ever.

When someone publicly questions government policy the appropriate response is not to shut down debate by declaring he has no right to be here and then shooting the messenger; it is rather to provide an intellectually robust defence of policy. The free contestability of ideas is one of the hallmarks of liberal democracy.

When citizens join a conflict we oppose and engage in murderous acts, the answer is not to disenfranchise them by the uncontested fiat of a politician, thereby making them another country’s problem, but to prosecute them in a court of law. History suggests any step away from this principle inevitably results in acts of tyranny.

And when anyone, let alone one of our own, dies on the battlefield, even fighting on the side of our enemy, surely we should be filled with grief. I am reminded of an old Jewish story of the exodus. The Red Sea has parted to allow the Israelites through, then closed in on the pursuing Egyptians. The Israelites are celebrating wildly, free at last from their captivity, when someone notices God isn’t there. “Where is he?” Moses asks. To which the archangel replies, “The Lord is over in the corner weeping, for many of his children died today.”

In the face of terror I want to say that I trust in the rule of law, the freedom of speech and religion, and respect for the humanity of all, even my enemy. These are the things that make us strong. Let us not surrender them.

Leave a Reply

33 Comments on "Anyone else disturbed by the tone of the anti-terror debate?"

Notify of
avatar
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Anne Hyde
Guest

Well said Scott

Warren French
Guest

Warren French liked this on Facebook.

Anne Hyde
Guest

Anne Hyde liked this on Facebook.

Wayne L Belcher
Guest

Wayne L Belcher liked this on Facebook.

Steve Bray
Guest

Steve Bray liked this on Facebook.

Grae McWhirter
Guest

Grae McWhirter liked this on Facebook.

Brendan Wood
Guest

Brendan Wood liked this on Facebook.

Lisa Byrnes
Guest

Lisa Byrnes liked this on Facebook.

Barbara Higgins
Guest

Barbara Higgins liked this on Facebook.

Sylvia Jones
Guest

Sylvia Jones liked this on Facebook.

Rick Plumb
Guest

Rick Plumb liked this on Facebook.

Rose Young
Guest

Rose Young liked this on Facebook.

Kim Burwood
Guest

Kim Burwood liked this on Facebook.

Emily Roy
Guest

Emily Roy liked this on Facebook.

Annette Bartlett Davis
Guest
Annette Bartlett Davis

Yes I’m very disturbed. In fact I’ve completely lost hope.

Lyn Jackson
Guest

Ah Scott… still the optimist. “AN intellectually r igorous defence of the policy” did you say? I haven’t seen one of those in a VERY long time.

David Ayliffe
Guest

Deeply troubled by the tone of this debate, and others from this Government. Almost to the point of despair really. Unfortunately I see the Government’s response purely driven by politics. It is not ethical nor rational and in my view can cause great harm….

David Ayliffe
Guest

By the way, I meant to write how much I appreciated your comments Scott. Well written and theologically sound ….

Stephen Goodlet
Guest

Stephen Goodlet liked this on Facebook.

Ross Coleman
Guest

Ross Coleman liked this on Facebook.

Jessica Clark
Guest

Jessica Clark liked this on Facebook.

Brad Coath
Guest

Brad Coath liked this on Facebook.

Sandy Higgins
Guest

Sandy Higgins liked this on Facebook.

Andy Coller
Guest

Andy Coller liked this on Facebook.

Leo Zubevich
Guest

Leo Zubevich liked this on Facebook.

Lyn Davey
Guest

Lyn Davey liked this on Facebook.

Alex Federname
Guest

Advocating freedom of religion requires strict circumscription of what “religion” is, does it not? If one’s religion entails, for example, the persecution of others (à la Islamic State / ISIS / ISIL) or the propagation of pernicious falsehoods (ditto), should freedom to practise that aspect of that religion be granted?

Teresa Leggo
Guest

Teresa Leggo liked this on Facebook.

Meralyn Zimmer
Guest

Meralyn Zimmer liked this on Facebook.

Benton Wecker
Guest

Benton Wecker liked this on Facebook.

Philip Zylstra
Guest

Philip Zylstra liked this on Facebook.

Sunita Norman
Guest

Sunita Norman liked this on Facebook.

Gershon Nimbalker
Guest

Gershon Nimbalker liked this on Facebook.

wpDiscuz
By Scott

Subscribe

Recent Posts

Recent Comments

Meta

Never miss a post

Join our mailing list to receive a weekly email with my latest blog posts

You have Successfully Subscribed!