Sydney, Australia: Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has advised people to leave the country if they found their values unacceptable to them. The Prime Minister, while addressing a press conference, urged Australians not to go down the path of extremism.
He said, “It is not compulsory to live in Australia… If you find Australian values, you know, unpalatable, then there’s a big wide world out there and people have got freedom of movement.”
Earlier in the day, Mr Turnbull, who met with figures from the Muslim community, asked his countrymen to “call out hatred” saying “violent extremism is a challenge to the most fundamental Australian values”.
“The success of our society is founded on mutual respect and we have to recognise that people who preach hatred, preach extremism, are undermining the success of this extraordinary country,” he said.
Friday also saw the Grand Mufti of Australia, Ibrahim Abu Mohamed, and other community and religious leaders address the media amid rising community tensions.
Mr Mohamed said violent religious extremism was a rare but serious issue threatening the whole community. “Sadly, a very, very small number of Australians of Muslim faith have chosen this path,” he said.
Last week, 15-year-old, Farhad Jabar, shot dead a 58-year-old police worker while reportedly shouting religious slogans before dying in a gun-battle with police.
Another Muslim figure, Neil El-Kadomi said, “I said you waited long time to come to this country. You should not abuse the privilege you are Australian, which is very important… Get out. We do not need scumbags in the community… We reject terrorism.”
Canberra is concerned at the prospect of lone-wolf attacks by individuals inspired by groups such as Islamic State, and has cracked down on Australians attempting to travel to conflict zones including Syria and Iraq.
The authorities lifted their terror threat alert to high a year ago, introduced new national security laws and have conducted several counter-terrorism raids.
In September 2014, Melbourne police shot dead a “known terror suspect” who stabbed two officers and in December, Iranian-born self-styled cleric, Man Haron Monis and two hostages were killed following a 17-hour siege at a Sydney cafe.
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