Islamic leader Amhad Malas calls on Malcolm Turnbull to restart relationship with Australian Muslims
ABCBy political reporter Tom IgguldenOctober 2 2015
An Islamic community leader is calling on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to reset the Federal Government's relationship with Australia's Muslims.
Amhad Malas, a director of the Lebanese Muslim Association, told The World Today the community was encouraged by Mr Turnbull's promise to be a consultative Prime Minister.
"Because the community is really longing to see a change, we're really hopeful that will extend to the Muslim community," he said.
Mr Malas said former prime minister Tony Abbott's use of phrases like "team Australia" and his admonishment that Muslim leaders had not done enough to combat radicalisation had damaged relations.
"It definitely has had a severe effect on the relationship between the community and the Government and we really want to see that change," Mr Malas said.
He issued an invitation for the Mr Turnbull to visit Western Sydney, which many of Australia's Muslims call home.
It's very important that these relationships are now intensified at the national level.
"He'll be welcome, and I think it's needed also so he gets a real feel for the issues that are facing the community, and definitely our doors are open for that," Mr Malas said.
Assistant Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Connie Ferriveinte-Wells, said the Government is looking a ways to improve the relationship with Muslim groups.
"It's very important that these relationships are now intensified at the national level," she told Radio National Breakfast.
"Our communities do feel alienated, they feel as though events overseas and the Middle East have impinged on their relationship, not just with government but broader Australia.
"I think its really important that those relationships are revisited."
Parramatta shooting: Multiple shots fired outside police HQ on Charles Street
Janet Fife-Yeomans, Lia Harris, Cathy Morris and Taylor Auerbach
The Daily Telegraph
October 3 2015.
- Victim, a police IT worker, was ‘simply leaving work’ when shot dead
- Shooting happened outside Police HQ in Parramatta at 4.30pm
- Gunman shot dead by Special Constables after gunfight
- Children were trapped in daycare with dead body at door
- THE gunman who shot dead a police staffer was a 15-year-old who had visited Parramatta Mosque on his way to commit murder.
The teenager, a naturalised Australian who arrived with his family from Iran, had walked to the police headquarters in Charles Street from his home in North Parramatta before opening fire on a civilian police employee.
Police are today trying to trackdown the teenage killer’s family who may have left the area.
His victim was a father-of-two, a son and a daughter, who is understood to have worked in the finance area for police.
Witnesses have told The Saturday Telegraph that after shooting dead the civilian employee, the teenager ran up and down infront of police headquarters waving his handgun in the air and shouting: “Allah. Allah.”
It was then that two special constables on security duty ran from the police building and shot the gunman dead.
Police are trying to find out who radicalised the teenager.
He had no identification on him and it is understood to be his brotherwho rang police and said he thought he knew who the gunman was.
Security may be beefed up at tomorrow’s NRL grand final following the incident.
The bodies of the victim and the shooter were removed earlier this morning.
Charles St is still completely blocked from Macquarie St to George St, with only residents being allowed past the cordons.
Last night Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione described the incdient as a “brutal crime” after reviewing CCTV footage.
“An employee of the NSW Police Force has been callously murdered,” he said.
“I viewed a number of pieces of footage. I can tell you this was a brutal crime. A terrible crime.”
The gunman, walked past one female police officer before shooting the civilian employee in the back of the head.
It is not certain if the victim was known to the gunman, who had still not been identified late on Friday night.
Mr Scipione said the vision showed the civilian employee was “targeted”.
The attacker remained on the street after killing the public servant with a single shot and got into an exchange with special constables working in the building.
The commissioner praised the bravery of the special constables guarding the entrance, who have full police powers and who were sprayed with bullets by the gunman before he was shot dead.
He said police had not ruled out that the gunman, who had no identification on him, was working with others, although it was too soon to know the motive.
The Saturday Telegraph has learned messages had been sent to police to be on alert because people had been seen taking photographs of the entrance to the building, which houses the crack major crime squads.
Sources said the building had been “cased” and there had been “chatter” in recent weeks about a potential attack, but the target was not clear.
“There has been activity around a number of locations in NSW, they’re the things we communicate to our officers,” Mr Scipione said.
He said a major events team was looking at the incident with a view to the NRL grand final, but said security for the match at the ANZ Stadium on Sunday night was already high.
Police flooded the area and shoppers ran in panic as a 2km exclusion zone was declared around the building after the shootings at about 4.30pm on Friday.
Officers in body armour patrolled Parramatta CBD as police declared it a Level 1 critical incident, the most serious level there is.
The two bodies lay on the pavement covered in white sheets at the doorway of a childcare centre. The group of children were locked inside the centre after one of the bodies lay at the door.
Father Dennis Entriken told The Daily Telegraph they all hoped their kids had been spared the sight and sounds of the horror.
“Unfortunately the children are still inside — we can’t get access to them and they can’t come out,” he said.
“Because one of the bodies is quite literally on the ground at the entrance to the childcare centre.”
The parents have since been reunited with their children.
Police seized a backpack from the footpath in front of Parramatta Public School about 300m from the bodies.
The black backpack — branded with a white “Nike” slogan — had been cordoned off inside a secondary crime scene.
It is understood a number of other items were also photographed and seized by forensic police.
Witnesses to the shooting said the gunman had been waving the gun above his head.
“I saw him pacing up and down at police headquarters with a gun above his head, he was yelling something and dressed in a black robe,” witness Edwin Almeida said.
“He was wearing something that could be mistaken for a priest’s outfit. It was a black robe, but he definitely wasn’t a priest.” Mr Almeida, whose office is opposite the police headquarters, said four or five shots were fired.
“He was screaming and running towards the police building … he looked agitated,” he said.
“There was blood everywhere.”
Shopkeeper Sammy Shak told The Daily Telegraph he saw two bodies on the ground after hearing “six shots at least”.
“When I went out there was two bodies on the floor and there was cops everywhere all around the area and they told me to go inside the shop straight away,” he said.
Another witness who lives in an apartment opposite police headquarters said he heard the shooting.
“I finished work and was in the shower and I heard the gunshots,” the man, who asked not to be named, told The Daily Telegraph.
“I heard six or seven gunshots and it was pretty loud.
“In two to three minutes there were cops everywhere.”
One worker, whose colleague witnessed the shooting, told The Daily Telegraph she was left shaken after watching an exchange of gunfire.
Residents who live near the police headquarters said they heard three or four “bangs”, which sounded like fireworks, before a gap of 30 seconds and a further four bangs.
An ambulance left Charles Street just after 5pm as locals gathered around the blocked-off area.
POLICE IN THE LINE OF FIRE
SEP 23 2014
Numan Haider, 18, of Afghan descent, stabbed two counter-terrorism officers at a police station in the Melbourne suburb of Endeavour Hills before being shot dead.
Harder was one of up to 50 Australian citizens who had their passports cancelled due to fears that they would join the Islamic State group. He reportedly went to the police station to discuss his cancelled passport.
FEB 10 2015
Heavily armed counter-terrorism police raided a Fairfield granny flat (above) and arrested two men they believe were planning to attack either a Sydney police station or officers on the street. Iraqi-born
Omar Al’Kutobi and Kuwaiti national Mohammad Kiad were charged with plotting to carry out a terrorist act.
APR 18 2015
Police allegedly thwarted an Islamic State terror plot to kill officers with knives and swords in Melbourne on Anzac Day. Five teenagers were arrested in pre-dawn raids. ASIO reportedly had told the family of one suspect to stop their son communicating with an extremist recruiter, who groomed Melbourne terrorist Numan Haider.
MAY 7 2015
The NSW police union called for stab-resistant vests for every officer. The union also sought permission for on-call police to be able to take their guns home with them and asked that officers not work alone, following increased security measures in Victoria.