Turnbull, Grand Mufti call for respect amid protest fears
PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the nation's Islamic leader, Grand Mufti Ibrahim Abu Mohamed rejected extremist teachings and called for unity.
Both leaders on Friday addressed reporters on the dangers of extremism and need for social cohesion in the wake of last week's Parramatta shooting.
Mr Turnbull said Australia was built on a foundation of mutual respect and that "extremism destroys the virtues of faith in our community".
He said irrespective of people's religious beliefs, all religious and moral doctrines were built on the idea of "do unto others as you would have them do unto you".
Fairfax has reported a Sydney Muslim cleric as telling a congregation that if extremists did not like Australia, they could leave.
Similarly, Mr Turnbull said given Australian values were "built on mutual respect", there was "a big wide world out there" for those who did not agree with such ideals.
Mr Turnbull has also convened a meeting for next week of all state and federal agencies involved in countering violent extremism.
Mr Turnbull said that on Thursday he had spoken to British Prime Minister David Cameron, who had offered his condolences to the family of police accountant Curtis Cheng, the shooting victim.
He said he called Mr Cheng's brother to pass on Mr Cameron's condolences, reflecting on both nations' united approach to countering violent extremism.
Similarly, Dr Mohamed told reporters in Sydney that Muslims who supported the shooter's actions should "stop messing with Australia and its society".
He said extremism was based on misguided teachings of Islam that came from "Sheikh Google, Sheik Twitter and Sheik Facebook".
The calls for social cohesion came as New South Wales Police put out a warning of potential protest activity in Parramatta on Friday afternoon.
Parramatta Local Area Command's Superintendent Wayne Cox said police had not authorised the protest and he warned the public against inciting violence or "engaging in reprisal actions".