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Slap down Dutton, MP tells Turnbull

AAP logoAAP 22/11/2016

Counter-terror expert and Labor MP Anne Aly says she has received threatening emails in the wake of Immigration Minister Peter Dutton's comments about Lebanese Muslim immigration.

Ms Aly said the comments had stoked fear and division and jarred with the prime minister's assertion that an inclusive nation was the best weapon against terrorism.

"If Malcolm Turnbull believes that, if he really believes that, he would have come out and slapped down Peter Dutton's disgraceful comments against migrant Australians who have helped to build this nation," she told reporters in Canberra.

"These are comments that are very typical of the politics of fear and the politics of division, the kind of politics that we really don't need right now in Australia."

The prime minister has thrown his support behind Mr Dutton after he blamed Fraser government immigration policies for problems such as radicalisation and gang violence 30 years on.

Mr Dutton further fuelled the comments in parliament by saying 22 of the past 33 people charged with terrorism-related offences in Australia were from second and third generation Lebanese Muslim backgrounds.

"(Australians) need to ask for a principled leader and they need to have somebody who shows some leadership on this," Ms Aly said.

"Peter Dutton's comments have already started to have impacts around communities."

Ian Macphee, who was immigration minister in the Fraser Liberal government, labelled Mr Dutton's comments "outrageous".

In a statement provided to the ABC by the Refugee Council of Australia, he acknowledged justifiable anger in the community.

"We have had a succession of inadequate immigration ministers in recent years but Dutton is setting the standards even lower," Mr Macphee said.

He described Mr Dutton and One Nation leader Senator Pauline Hanson as "ignorant, alarmist voices".

"The Fraser government honoured international law and morality," he said.

"From the Howard government onwards these have been increasingly discarded."

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