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Queensland backpacker murder sparks Muslim debate

AAP logoAAP 25/08/2016 Jamie McKinnell

Conservative Australian politicians have used the brutal death of a British backpacker in north Queensland to further calls for a crackdown on Muslim immigration.

The commentary on immigration continued despite police specifically declaring there was "absolutely no indication of any form of radicalisation" regarding suspect Smail Ayad.

One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson was among the first to seize on the alleged Islamist cries of the 29-year-old Frenchman arrested over the incident in Home Hill, south of Townsville, on Tuesday night.

"(It) could well be the first Islamic terrorist attack in Queensland and I want some answers," Ms Hanson said less than 24 hours later.

She reissued calls for a moratorium on Muslim immigration.

"Australian's (sic) know what the problem is," Ms Hanson added.

British backpacker Mia Ayliffe-Chung © AAP Image/Supplied British backpacker Mia Ayliffe-Chung "It's time this government wakes up and starts looking after Australians (sic) welfare before those from other countries."

Police body-worn cameras captured the aftermath of the horrific stabbing, which claimed the life of 21-year-old Briton Mia Ayliffe-Chung and left her 30-year-old countryman Tom Jackson fighting for life.

Ayad allegedly yelled "Allahu Akbar" during and after the incident. However police are also considering whether he harboured a romantic obsession with Ms Ayliffe-Chung and had mental health issues.

Nationals MP George Christensen and independent Bob Katter called for a ban on Middle Eastern and North African migrants.

"I think the risk to the Australian people now is so great that that should not occur anymore," Mr Katter told Sky News.

The state's police minister, Bill Byrne, on Thursday urged an end to the "opportunistic commentary" from "predictable sources" amid an ongoing investigation.

"There'll be those that seek to exploit this incident," Mr Byrne said.

"I believe that will be unhelpful."

Mr Byrne's request appeared to have left little impression on Mr Christensen, who took to Facebook to criticise the "political correctness brigade" attempting to silence him.

"Would he (Ayad) have killed if he was unable to justify his killing with a cry of 'Allahu Akbar!' and the beliefs behind that cry?" he speculated.

Ms Ayliffe-Chung's own Facebook account has been flooded with both messages of condolence and ugly anti-Muslim sentiment since her death.

"We are ready to fight in your memory," one woman wrote.

"We must rid this world of the vermin known as Islam."

Ms Ayliffe-Chung's mother appealed for people not to misrepresent the tragedy.

"As a peaceful person, Mia had a huge respect for everybody," Rosie Ayliffe said in a statement.

"She would not want to be the reason for any hostilities caused by any misrepresentation of events."

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