Muslim leaders hopeful of new direction


Muslim leaders have called on Malcolm Turnbull to bring an end to the politics of blame they believe impacted their communities under the prime ministership of Tony Abbott.

Keysar Trad, spokesman for the Islamic Friendship Association of Australia, says he is hopeful Mr Turnbull will serve the interests of all Australians.

"Certainly the last period of the Abbott government saw more brazen attitudes from groups like Reclaim Australia and attacks on Islam, the Senate inquiry into halal certification; all these things that were very, very divisive in Australian society and seemed to find their nurturing grounds in the last few months of the Abbott government," Mr Trad told AAP.

Mr Turnbull is set to become Australia's 29th prime minister after ousting Mr Abbott as Liberal leader on Monday, winning a late-night showdown by 54-44 votes.

Mr Trad said on Tuesday he would write to Mr Turnbull in the coming days to congratulate him and to also seek a dialogue. He also said he had been contacted by Muslims "expressing a sense of relief that we may have a chance now of moving forward and moving away from the politics of blame. … We hope Australia will go in a direction that serves the interests of all Australians, a direction that allows us to use our differences for the benefit of Australia, rather than making us feel that we have to be defensive about our differences."    (AAP)

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