Several Australian Muslim groups have slammed Prime Minister Scott Morrison over his speech on the knife attack that took place on 9 November on Bourke Street in Melbourne, SBS News reported. The Australian National Imams Council said it was 'outraged' by the prime minister's statements and accused him of "politicising the incident and using it for political gain".
The Forum On Australia's Islamic Relations (FAIR) claimed the perpetrator, who committed the attack had little to do with Islam and was a "mentally ill person suffering from a psychotic episode". The Forum urged the prime minister not to make whole Muslim community a 'scapegoat' for a single man's actions.
"We demand the withdrawal of his comments and an apology to the Muslim community," a FAIR spokesperson said.
Muslim Friendship Association spokesperson, Keysar Trad, branded Morrison's speech as 'very divisive,' claiming that it "plays into the hands of the Islamophobic crowd" since it doesn't differentiate between extremist and normal Islam.
"Even though he's trying to isolate his message to those with an extremist interpretation of the religion, many in the general public view that as an indictment of the entire Muslim community," Trad said.
The criticism from Muslim organizations comes following PM Scott Morrison's speech in the wake of the knife attack in Melbourne that claimed the life of a person and left two more seriously injured. Morrison slammed all radical teachings, but noted that "radical and dangerous ideology of extremist Islam" poses the greatest threat to Australian society.
A Hero With a Trolley
As Muslim communities discuss the prime minister's statements, many other Australian citizens are discussing the heroic actions of a mysterious bystander, who assaulted the attacker in Melbourne with a shopping cart. As the perpetrator was trying to attack policemen with his knife, the "trolley-man," as Australians now call him, tried to knock the attacker over by smashing him with the improvised ram.
Although not everyone considered it a feat of heroism, but rather a distraction to the police.
#trolleyman put police and others in much greater danger by getting in the way. He did not help, not a hero. Lucky he didn’t get police or others killed by distracting their focus— Ing (@Ic2pilgrim) November 9, 2018
Still, Police Commissioner Graham Ashton praised the man's willingness to help the police, but cautioned citizens against unnecessary heroism as it may lead to them being injured.
Mohamed Khalif, a man of Somali descent, parked his car on Bourke Street in Melbourne on 9 November, set it afire and started attacking bystanders with a knife, injuring three people, one of whom later died.
The attacker later tried to assault police officers, who arrived at the scene, but was fatally shot by one of them after several attempts to neutralise him were unusccessful. Daesh* later claimed responsibility for the attack and stated that Khalif was one of their fighters.
*Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist group banned in Russia and many other countries.