Australian cleric criticised for linking Paris to racism

2015-11-17 09:33

Canberra - Australia's most senior Muslim cleric came under fire from government ministers on Tuesday for linking the Paris attacks to racism and Islamophobia.

The Grand Mufti of Australia, Ibrahim Abu Mohammed, and the Australian National Imams Council, a national body representing Muslim clerics issued a statement late on Sunday offering their deepest condolences to the families and friends of victims of the co-ordinated attacks in Paris that killed at least 129 people.

"These recent incidents highlight the fact that current strategies to deal with the threat of terrorism are not working," the statement said.

"It is therefore imperative that all causative factors such as racism, Islamophobia, curtailing freedoms through securitisation, duplicitous foreign policies and military intervention must be comprehensively addressed," it said.

The statement was widely criticised by lawmakers and media commentators on Tuesday.

"There is no connection between the innocent victims of Paris and Islamophobia," The Australian national newspaper said in an editorial.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton condemned the statement and challenged the Egyptian-born religious scholar to condemn the attacks.

"I've condemned the comments and I think they are a very poor message to young Muslims and to people of good faith across the country," Dutton told Sydney Radio 2GB.

"The opportunity's there today for the grand mufti to come out and clarify his comments and make it very clear that he condemns these acts of terrorism, these murderous acts, without reservation as other leaders have done," Dutton said.

The grand mufti did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

Treasurer Scott Morrison said "Australians were let down by the mufti."

Ikebal Patel, former president of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, said the grand mufti could be viewed as an apologist for the attackers because of the statement.

"For the grand mufti to come out and make a statement of that sort when we don't have the details of what has gone on, it's disappointing," Patel said.

Read more on:    isis  |  france  |  australia  |  security  |  religion  |  paris under attack

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.