Following the terror attacks in Paris, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was quick to describe who the real enemies were.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has declared the perpetrators of the Paris terror attacks have “defamed and blasphemed Islam” as Australian parliamentarians rose for a moment of silence for the victims.
Addressing parliament after a 10 day international tour, Turnbull described the attackers as “godless ISIL murderers” who “we will not let win”.
Malcolm Turnbull has conceded the scale and frequency of terrorist attacks feels like war, but has assured Australians they are safe, and expressed every confidence that in the end, civilisation would prevail over what he branded blasphemy against Islam by godless terrorists.
In case you missed every story ever written about the terrorists, they’re committing these acts of violence in the name of Islam. We can have a debate about whether Islam actually calls for them to do this — most Muslims obviously say otherwise — but there’s absolutely no room for debate on which religion they claim to be following.
They’re not atheists. They’re not godless. Pleasing Allah is the very reason they’re killing people they believe to be infidels.
The Atheist Foundation of Australia condemned Turnbull’s irresponsible remarks yesterday:
AFA President Michael Boyd commented:
“The Prime Minister’s language buys into the discredited stereotype that you can’t be good without God, which is unfortunate and unhelpful. Millions of atheists and non-religious in Australia and worldwide live fully ethical lives without recourse to religious morals or belief in gods. The example of avowedly secular Médecins Sans Frontières, still operating in the war zone despite being bombed twice, demonstrates that emphatically.“
That’s not to blame Muslim Australians and their personal religious practice in any way for the criminal actions of a group of terrorists. We know that they share our horror and unequivocal condemnation of these and all similar atrocities, and that they don’t support Daesh. We do not want our words to be misinterpreted as any sort of support for bigoted, xenophobic views like those of Reclaim Australia and United Patriots Front.
But as the national representative body for atheists, and for the nearly 1/3 of Australians who ticked “No religion” or did not report a religion in the 2011 Census — we think that we (and they) deserve far better from their Prime Minister than to be denigrated by association by ascribing “godlessness” to the terrorists.
Whatever else is motivating them, it’s certainly not godlessness.
The AFA is absolutely right and Turnbull owes atheists everywhere an apology for throwing them under the bus in an effort to discredit the extremely religious terrorists whose belief in God is what motivates them to continue these horrors.
Edit: Says Paul Fidalgo: “I guess things really are upside-down over there!”