Late Tuesday night In northeast Australia, A 29-year-old man shouted “Allahu Akbar” as he stabbed to death a 21-year-old British woman, a dog, and critically injured a 30-year-old British man.
Australian authorities indicated that the killer is from France, with Reuters describing him as a “Frenchman.” His name has not yet been released. His likeness has also not yet been released.
The killer has been in the country for a year on a temporary visa.
Steve Golchewski, deputy police commissioner, said the repeating shouting of the Arabic slogan “may be construed as being of an extremist nature.” Investigators, he added, were working with Australian federal police to establish his motives.”
The Islamic Council of Queensland’s Ali Kadri warned against “associating [the phrase Allahu Akbar] with terrorism.”
“Media should be more responsible than this, and not just make it a terrorist incident because at this stage I don’t think we can speculate it is a terrorist incident,” said Kadri. “Just because someone says ‘Allahu Akbar’ does not mean that person’s motivations are religious.”
“When Muslim women give birth they say ‘Allahu akbar’ does that mean the act of giving birth is terrorism? It is a commonly used phrase by 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, and unfortunately some criminals misuse that phrase… I think we should be cautious by not associating this phrase with terrorism and empowering the terrorists,” added Kadri.
Police were “not ruling out any motivations at this early stage, whether they be criminal or political.”
The attack took place at a backpackers’ hostel in the Home Hill area of Queensland around 11:15 PM local time.
The victims have been identified as Mia-Ayliffe Chung and Tom Jackson.
A 2015 report forecasts that Australia will cease to be a Christian-majority country by mid-century. Muslims are estimated to compose 2.2% of Australia’s population, with virtually all of them having arrived over the past fifty years. They are estimated to increase their population share to 4.9% by 2050.
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