Australian PM Interviewed on SBS World News

Prime Minister

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, thanks so much for joining us. In the aftermath of the church stabbing terrorism investigation, there were fears about whether multiculturalism and social cohesion in Australia was at risk. Why do you think the violence took hold so quickly?

PRIME MINISTER: Well, violent extremism and any form of violence has no place in Australia. We are overwhelmingly a cohesive society, who are enriched by our multiculturalism, people live side by side with different faiths and are enriched by our diversity. The events on Monday night were extremely concerning. First of all the terrorist act of this young man in attacking a bishop in a church is something that is completely unacceptable. And then the response as well of some members of the public in attacking police who were there to do their job.

PETERSEN: Police commissioner Reece Kershaw described the riot outside of the church as un-Australian. What do you think that means?

PRIME MINISTER: What it means is that Australia is defined by looking after each other, that's what we do. There are various terms for that, mateship, solidarity, we look after each other, we have respect for each other, we show kindness to each other.

PETERSEN: Prime Minister, would you have used that word?

PRIME MINISTER: I have no problem with using that word at all.

PETERSEN: We also of course saw many acts of heroism coming out of that terrible Bondi stabbing attack. And you've gone as far as saying the French citizen, the guy we know as Bollard Man, now you've said that he can stay for as long as he likes. What are you offering the injured Pakistani security guard?

PRIME MINISTER: Well, the Immigration Minister spoke with him today, he's still in hospital. Firstly, we wish Mr Taha a very swift recovery from his injuries. And we're working through with him to ensure that his visa issues are sorted out. There'll be more information on that tomorrow now that those details have been looked at. We know that Mr Taha put his own safety at risk in order to protect people who were there shopping on the Saturday afternoon, and we certainly wish him well.

PETERSEN: Prime Minister, there has been some concern about the terrorism label being used selectively. Given that police say Joel Cauchi appears to have been targeting women, should that attack have been classified as misogyny driven terrorism?

PRIME MINISTER: I'll tell you what shouldn't happen, which is politicians to find these things rather than security and police agencies. That's what shouldn't happen. We have a system whereby my job as Prime Minister is to give every support to the police and to the security agencies, and that is precisely what I'm doing, it is important. We know that Monday's incident was ideologically motivated and that has been determined by the security agencies. And I support the police making the declaration that they did.

PETERSEN: We have a situation, though, where women are fearing that they will be targeted in this sort of attack. So, do you believe that misogyny driven terrorism exists?

PRIME MINISTER: Well, certainly, what does exist is too much violence against women, we know that that's the case. And that can be the case, unfortunately, in households. The violence against women occurs far too frequently, with someone that they know whether it's a partner, or someone that they know in a family situation or that they've known through other relationships. And we've seen far too many tragedies this year.

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