Australia mulls citizenship for Pakistani man who confronted mall attacker

Westfield Bondi Junction re-opens to the public following the stabbing attacks which killed several people, in Sydney. (Photo/Reuters)

Australia's prime minister has said he will consider granting citizenship to a Pakistani security guard wounded in the deadly Sydney shopping centre knife attack, while the victim of a separate stabbing attack in Sydney, Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel, said he forgave his attacker.

Asked in a radio interview if the Australian government would entertain security guard Muhammad Taha's citizenship request, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Thursday: "Yes, we certainly will."

Albanese described the killing of the other fellow Pakistani guard, Faraz Tahir, as a "tragedy".

"This other person, Muhammad Taha, he confronted this guy, the perpetrator, Joel Cauchi, on Saturday. And it just shows extraordinary courage," the prime minister said.

Albanese said that both men put themselves in danger to protect Australians they did not know.

"That's the sort of courage that we want to say thank you to, frankly."

Taha reportedly said he believed he "deserved recognition and consideration for citizenship" after being stabbed.

In a bedside interview with The Australian, Taha said he was attacked just after Tahir, one of the six people killed at the Westfield shopping complex in Bondi Junction.

Taha has a graduate visa due to expire in less than a month, the paper said.

Bishop forgives church attacker

Meanwhile, bishop Emannuel, the victim of another stabbing attack in Sydney, said he is recovering and forgives his attacker, declaring: "You are my son."

Emannuel was slashed in the head and chest by a 16-year-old suspect on Monday, sparking a riot by followers of the Assyrian Christian church in western Sydney.

"I am doing fine, recovering very quickly," said the bishop of Christ the Good Shepherd Church in Wakeley.

"There is no need to be worried or concerned," the bishop said in a YouTube video released Thursday, with audio of his voice accompanied by a photo of him in vestments.

"I forgive whoever has done this act, and I say to him: You are my son, I love you, and I will always pray for you. And whoever sent you to do this, I forgive them as well."

The bishop called for calm after the stabbing sparked angry scenes outside the church.

Hundreds of congregants and members of the community rushed to the site on the night of the attack.

Some hurled rocks and other projectiles that allegedly wounded police and damaged 50 police cars.

About 30 people were wounded in the riot, including one police officer with a broken jaw.

"I want you to always be calm," the bishop said. "We need to be always law-abiding citizens as well. We need to cooperate with the police directives whether it be at a state level or a federal level," he said.


Source: TRT