Grand Mufti should face charges, demands Somlyay

A FORMER federal government politician has called for the spiritual leader of Muslims in Australia to be charged under sedition laws for comments he made about the Paris bombings.

Alex Somlyay, who served as the Member for Fairfax for 23 years before his retirement at the last federal election, said comments by Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammed that there were "causative factors" to the Paris attacks including racism, Islamophobia, the curtailing of freedom and the West's military intervention in the Middle East amounted to justification of the behaviour of terrorists.

"He's a Muslim but he's also supposed to be an Australian," Mr Somlyay said.

The Grand Mufti issued a clarifying statement on Thursday, saying he had consistently and unequivocally condemned all forms of terrorist violence.

"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.

"The sanctity of human life is guaranteed in Islam. Sadly, in the Paris attacks, people of various faith backgrounds including Islam were brutally murdered. We extend once again our deepest condolences to their  families and friends."

He has been critical of the term Islamic State having been hijacked for political purpose.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has praised Dr Mohammed for his condemnation of Daesh and told reporters that had been made very clear in his clarifying remarks.

Mr Somlyay is not so certain.

He contends the matter needs to be tested at law, claiming that already radicalised individuals and those in the process of radicalisation may, as a consequence of Dr Mohammed's remarks, consider acts of terrorism are justified.


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