Sydney (dpa) – Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Muslim leaders said Friday that if extremists do not agree with life in Australia they were free to leave.
The comments came a week after a 15-year-old boy, Farhad Jabar, shot dead a police employee outside Sydney police headquarters and then was killed in a shoot out with police .
A mosque in Parramatta in Sydney’s west is the focus of police investigations as Jabar visited there before he attacked the nearby police headquarters.
Investigators believe Jabar was radicalised by members of the mosque and someone at the mosque gave him the handgun he then used to kill police employee Curtis Cheng.
Turnbull a press conference he had met Muslim leaders and stressed the Muslim communities were essential allies in the fight against extremism.
But he also took a hard line, telling reporters it was not compulsory for those who disliked Australia to continue living there.
“If you find Australian values unpalatable, then there’s a big wide world out there and people have got freedom of movement,” he said.
“This phenomenon of violent extremism is a challenge to the most fundamental Australian values.”
Turnbull said the attack was motivated by political and religious views, and was an act or terrorism aimed at challenging Australia’s values.
He said anyone preaching hatred or extremism undermined the success of multicultural Australia.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten echoed the comment, saying “if you really hate Australia, well then you should go.”
Earlier Neil El-Kadomi, chairman of Parramatta mosque near police headquarters, told reporters he was telling worshippers “if you don’t like Australia, leave it.”
The Grand Mufti, Ibrahim Abu Mohamed, addressed media rejecting extremist teaching that he said only entered Australia through social media from overseas.
Those who followed extremist and false Islamic teaching should “stop messing with Australia and its society”, Mohamed told reporters through a translator.
“We refuse and reject any form of terrorist activities, whether this — if it’s proven to be a terrorist act — or any other,” he said.
Police are holding an 18-year-old man who is being questioned on suspicion of supplying the gun to Jabar.
Police are also on alert after an anti-Islam group called The Freedom Party announced they would hold protests outside mosques in Sydney, Melbourne and several country towns.