Deputy Police Commissioner Stephen Brown says he does not need to call for more action from WA’s Muslim leaders because he knows how hard they are working to keep the community safe. Mr Brown joined imams from across Perth this week to call for unity in the fight against terrorism and to reveal the depth of the working relationship between WA Police and the Muslim community.
The show of solidarity comes after Prime Minister Scott Morrison urged imams to be more proactive in identifying extremists and not to “look the other way” in the wake of the Bourke Street attack on November 9.
Since 2014, Mr Brown has chaired quarterly meetings of an advisory group of Muslim leaders and senior police.
The advisory group model — which national Islamic officials have urged other States to emulate — was formed to tackle topics from youth engagement to counterterrorism.
“I’m not calling them out to do more because I can see how much they are doing,” Mr Brown said.
“They know and we know it’s a very, very small few that have acted out in this country criminally and have conducted heinous, criminal acts of violence.”
He said that police would remain relentless in their mission to counter terrorism but it was important to try to keep the threat to the community in perspective.
Tolerance and understanding, not infighting, would help Australia deal with the scourge of violent extremism.
Perth Mosque imam Shiekh Mohammed Shakeeb spoke to worshippers yesterday about the Bourke Street attack and how they could foster trust through engaging with their community.
He said the attack was a “kick in the guts” for the Muslim community, which would suffer by association.