In an interview to Sky News, former Prime Minister Tony Abbott said, a reformation of the religion should be encouraged by working with Muslims, saying numerous Muslim leaders think their faith needs to modernise.
“We’ve got to work closely with live-and-let-live Muslims because there needs to be as (Egyptian) President Al-Sisi has said, there needs to be a religious revolution inside Islam,” Mr Abbott said.
Speaking with Sky News’ Paul Murray, Mr Abbott pointed out US President Barack Obama’s reference to Islamic State as a death cult during his Oval Office address on Monday.
Mr Abbott said Islamic State cannot be contained, but must be destroyed, and to do so will require a ‘strong security response’ and a ‘hearts and minds response’.
Earlier, in a piece for The Daily Telegraph titled ‘The religion of Islam must reform’, he wrote, “Islam has never had its own version of the Reformation and the Enlightenment or a consequent acceptance of pluralism and the separation of church and state”.
Mr Abbott said Australians should demand loyalty from Muslims living in Australia as Australian culture is superior.
“It’s not culturally insensitive to demand loyalty to Australia and respect for Western civilisation. Cultures are not all equal.
“We should be ready to proclaim the clear superiority of our culture to one that justifies killing people in the name of God,” he said.
He said some Muslims are “all too ready to justify “death to the infidel”.
“Demonising Islam generally or all Muslims could bring on the ‘clash of civilisations’ that academic Samuel Huntington feared two decades back and make ‘Islam’s bloody borders’ even more dangerous. But we can’t remain in denial about the massive problem within Islam,” he said.
In the exclusive interview to Sky News, the former prime minister opened up about his plans for his future in politics, indicating he won’t shy away from speaking out when necessary.
Mr Abbott insisted, however, he will give Malcolm Turnbull the respect he deserves.
Mr Abbott says he has received “thousands and thousands of messages of support and encouragement” since losing the prime ministership in September.
Mr Abbott said although he hasn’t made a decision about continuing his political career adding “I still have a contribution to make to public life”.
Reflecting on the Liberal leadership spill, Mr Abbott said the experience was ‘humbling’ but he prefers to focus on his ‘exhilarating’ six years as leader of the coalition.
“I could cry because it’s over or I could smile because it happened”, he said.
Mr Abbott says he is very proud of his record of managing “the ambitions, the personalities and the different perspectives” as leader of the coalition.