News National PM hits back at some Muslim religious leaders
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PM hits back at some Muslim religious leaders

Scott Morrison has hit back at some Muslim religious leaders. Photo: Getty
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Prime Minister Scott Morrison has hit back at Muslim religious leaders “burying their heads in the sand” over extremism.

After paying his respects at the Melbourne coffee shop owned by Sisto Malaspina, who died in the Bourke Street attacks, he warned community leaders need to step up.

“I will say simply what I said on the weekend, that the violent extremist Islamic terrorist who did this on this street was radicalised in this country,” he said.

“It’s the job of communities to protect themselves and to keep the wolves coming among the sheep in their own religious communities.

Mr Morrison said there are no excuses for those that didn’t root out extremists.

“In religious communities, there are Imams and Muslim communities that are absolutely doing this and they are protecting the integrity of their religious communities,” he said.

“They are brave and they are courageous.

“But for those who want to stick their head in the sand, for those who want to make excuses for those who stick their head in the sand, for those who want to walk post those comments and make excuses, are you not making Australia safer.”

His comments followed criticism from the spiritual leader of the Islamic youth centre where Bourke Street terrorist Hassan Khalif Shire Ali ­attended prayer sessions.

Mohammed Omran told The Australian: “This person was on the watch list. So what did they do? Nothing.”

Bill Shorten told reporters in Melbourne that what happened on Friday was a tragedy and it was not surprising people would lash out but he said what all politicians and political leaders needed to do was work together.

Liberal MP Michael Sukkar urged the Morrison government to go further, revoking the citizenship of dual nationals who are terror sympathisers

“I think we should be finding ways of revoking citizenship of people who clearly hate this country,” Mr Sukkar told Sky News.