The Grand Mufti of Australia says he has always “consistently and unequivocally condemned all forms of terrorist violence”.
The spiritual leader of Muslims in Australia, Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammed, was responding to criticisms that he had not come out and directly condemned the Paris terrorist attacks which left 132 people dead and more than 350 injured.
Dr Mohammed has been under pressure after a statement issued on Sunday on behalf of the Australian National Imams Council (ANIC) and himself that suggested racism and Islamophobia were partly to blame for the massacre.
He was also the subject of front page ridicule by a media outlet which portrayed him as the “unwise Mufti” who “sees no problem” “hears no concerns” and “speaks no English”.
In the statement he said: “We wish to emphasise it is incorrect to imply that the reference to causative factors provides justification for these acts of terrorism. There is no justification for the taking of innocent lives,” the statement said.