PM’s bold chal­lenge to re­li­gious lead­ers


PRIME Min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son says Mus­lim lead­ers must “call out” rad­i­cal Islam in the wake of Mel­bourne’s Bourke Street ter­ror at­tack.

Mr Mor­ri­son at­tacked the “rad­i­cal and dan­ger­ous ide­ol­ogy of ex­trem­ist Islam” that in­spired Has­san Khalif Shire Ali to blow up his ute and stab three peo­ple on Fri­day.

“Here in Aus­tralia we would be kid­ding our­selves if we did not call out the fact that the great­est threat of re­li­gious ex­trem­ism in this coun­try is the rad­i­cal and dan­ger­ous ide­ol­ogy of ex­trem­ist Islam,” the PM said.

WA’s La­bor MP Anne Aly ac­cused him of “di­vid­ing the com­mu­nity”.

“I don’t care how po­lit­i­cally des­per­ate you are, now is not the right time to use lan­guage that’s go­ing to di­vide the com­mu­nity,” the Cowan MP said.

Cafe owner Sisto Malaspina, 74, died af­ter he was stabbed in the neck, prompt­ing an out­pour­ing of trib­utes yes­ter­day.

ROD Pat­ter­son rushed to help one of the vic­tims and was stabbed in the head by Bourke Street ter­ror­ist Has­san Khalif Shire Ali.

The re­tired Tas­ma­nian, who moved to Mel­bourne to be closer to his chil­dren, is now re­cov­er­ing in hospi­tal. A young se­cu­rity guard also re­ceived up­per body stab wounds.

“I went to as­sist and whilst do­ing so re­ceived a knife wound to my head,” the 58-year-old said from his hospi­tal bed. He said his thoughts were with the other vic­tims and the po­lice of­fi­cers in­volved.

Mr Pat­ter­son, pic­tured, had been with wife Ma­ree “hav­ing a great day” in the city when the at­tack hap­pened. “We both ap­pre­ci­ate ev­ery­one’s sup­port dur­ing this dif­fi­cult time, and our thoughts are also with the other vic­tims, fam­i­lies and po­lice of­fi­cers in­volved,” he said.

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