• Muslim women outside the Opera House in Sydney. (AAP)
Labor leader Bill Shorten has weighed into a poll which shows almost half of all Australians want a ban on Muslim immigration.
Source:
AAP
21 Sep 2016 - 1:34 PM  UPDATED 23 Sep 2016 - 8:24 AM

Federal Labor has cautioned against the findings of a poll showing almost half of all Australians want a ban on Muslim immigrants

Forty-nine per cent of people surveyed in an Essential poll agreed that Muslims should be blocked from the country while 40 per cent disagreed with the idea.

There was 60 per cent support for the ban among coalition voters, 40 per cent from Labor and a surprising 34 per cent from Greens voters.

More than a third felt Muslims did not integrate into Australian society as their main reason for supporting a ban, with some citing concerns about terrorism and lack of uptake of Australian values, the poll published in The Guardian showed.

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'We all came from somewhere else'

Labor leader Bill Shorten said Australia was an immigrant country and the future of the nation relied on people working together.

"Other than our first Australians we all came from somewhere else," he told reporters in Adelaide.

"I don't want to do is see this country scapegoating minorities for the challenges of the bigger issues."

It was the argument of "crazy fundamentalist" Islamic extremists to say Muslims couldn't support western Liberal democracy.

"We would be playing into the hands of the crazies, of the fundamentalists, of those who hate the Australian way of life by somehow saying that that religion, Islam, is incompatible with western democracy."

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One Nation leader Pauline Hanson snatched headlines last week when she called for such a ban, saying that Australia was in danger of being swamped by Muslims who had "a culture and ideology incompatible with our own".

The call was rejected by senior government figures including Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who stressed Australia was the world's most successful multicultural society.

Meanwhile, Mr Turnbull on Wednesday announced Australia would keep its refugee intake at nearly 19,000 a year as well as including Central Americans in a fresh intake program.

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