ONLY through mutual respect with Australians of all religions and backgrounds can we expect to win the battle against extremism, according to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
The PM made the comments at the National Countering Violent Extremism Meeting, convened following the murder of New South Wales police staff member Curtis Cheng, at the hands of a 15-year-old boy.
Mr Turnbull said the crime that horrified Australia showed that "extremism ca be seen in the very young, people that we would regard as children.
"This is a real home-grown threat. And it appalls all Australians and it appalls all Muslim Australians," he said.
Mr Turnbull said that the fight against radicalisation and extremism in Australia will succeed or fail on how well Australians work with Muslim communities.
These communities were "absolutely necessary partners", according to the PM.
"The most critically important Australian value in all of this is that of mutual respect," he said.
"We are the most successful multicultural society in the world. Of that there can be no doubt.
"There is no country comparable to ours which has such a diverse mix of its population and that is built on mutual respect.
"And what extremists seek to do is to denigrate and preach hatred against one group or another, against another religion or other parts of their own religion and in so doing divide us.
"And so the values of mutual respect are critical for all of us to stand up for, whether we are leaders, whether we are police officers, whether we are parents, teachers, bosses, colleagues, friends, family, this is what makes Australia great, that value of mutual respect."
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