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Jewish lawmaker calls out Australian mufti for failure to condemn Paris attacks

Australian lawmaker Josh Frydenberg says the grand mufti of Australia “failed in his leadership” by not condemning the Paris terrorist attacks.

Ibrahim Abu Mohammed, the grand mufti, originally expressed sorrow over the deaths of at least 130 people in the wake of the attacks, but did not specifically condemn them. Media reports on the initial statement were critical of its failure to condemn the attacks.

The mufti later issued a clarification, which Frydenberg calls a “cover-up.” Speaking on a Sky News current affairs panel Sunday, the Jewish lawmaker also says the original statement was a “graphic failure” in leadership.

Resources, Energy and Northern Australia Minister Josh Frydenberg is sworn in by Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove during the swearing-in ceremony of the new Turnbull Government at Government House on September 21, 2015 in Canberra, Australia(Photo/Stefan Postles/Getty Images/Pool Via AP)
Resources, Energy and Northern Australia Minister Josh Frydenberg during the swearing-in ceremony of the new Turnbull Government in Canberra, Australia, September 21, 2015. (Stefan Postles/Getty Images/Pool via AP)

“I think the grand mufti failed in his leadership with his statement,” Frydenberg, of the Liberal Party, says on the panel. “He sought to cover that up subsequently, but it was a graphic failure and he has more of a responsibility, not only to the Muslim community but to the community at large, because all of our security is at risk.”

Frydenberg, who attended a Jewish day school in Melbourne, agrees that there is a large element of denial in the wider public debate on confronting that there is a problem of extremism in Islam.

“I would say it is a problem within Islam, and the point about Islam is that this is a minority of extremists, and you could argue that it’s even a small minority of extremists, but it’s a significant minority of extremists and it does pose a challenge to our way of life in Australia,” he says.

– JTA

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