Australian government against terror

The Australian government and 14 moderate Muslim leaders agreed Tuesday to join forces in the fight against terror at a landmark summit that brought together Prime Minister John Howard and Islamic community leaders.

The summit had a positive and forward looking attitude about tackling terrorism, Howard said after meeting moderate Muslim leaders at the summit here.

The meeting at Australia's Parliament House was called to discuss how to stamp out extremist preaching and keep the country safe from terror attacks in the aftermath of the deadly London terrorist bombings killed 52 rail and bus commuters on July 7, AP informs.

"Members of the Muslim faith and in particular its leaders have a responsibility to challenge and counteract those who seek to encourage the use of violence and terrorism in the name of Islam," a statement released after the meeting said.

"The government must support and encourage Islamic leaders to challenge and eradicate extremism," it added.

Howard said the group unanimously agreed to reject and combat terrorism.

"There was unanimous rejection and repudiation of terrorism in all its forms and a commitment to work within the laws of Australia and the framework of the Australian community to combat terrorism," he was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

"There is a problem, there is a concern that a small section of the Islamic community of this country could be the source of terrorism," he said.

"The important thing coming out of this meeting is that we all agree on that and we need to work together."

The meeting has also agreed on a set of principles which will guide ongoing talks between the government and Australia's Islamic community.

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