Malcolm Turnbull has warned against over-hyping the threat posed by Islamic State, arguing it is important not to lend any credibility or currency to the grandiose “delusions” of the jihadists.
The communications minister used a speech delivered at the Sydney Institute on Tuesday night to make a plea for civility, calm and proportionality in Australia’s national security debate.
Tony Abbott has recently delivered an explicit warning that the Daesh death cult is “coming for us”, however, Turnbull argued it was important not to get sucked into the Isis strategy “and ourselves become amplifiers of their wickedness and significance”.
The foreign minister, Julie Bishop, has previously made a direct comparison between the rise of Isis and the rise of Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany, but Turnbull reasoned Daesh was “not Hitler’s Germany, Tojo’s Japan or Stalin’s Russia”.
Turnbull said on Tuesday night it was vital not to underestimate the security threat posed by Isis, but it was important also to preserve a sense of perspective given the organisation’s resorting to Hollywood techniques to “amplify its significance”.
“Its leaders dream that they, like the Arab armies of the seventh and eighth century, will sweep across the Middle East into Europe itself,” the communications minister said on Tuesday night.
“They predict that before long they will be stabling their horses in the Vatican. Well Idi Amin wasn’t the King of Scotland either.”
“We should be careful not to say or do things which can be seen to add credibility to those delusions.”
• Keith Antonysen in Comments: What a brilliant Leunig cartoon. More people have been killed through domestic violence in Australia in a year than by terrorists in Australia’s history.