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Australia focuses on Muslim immigrants

MELBOURNE, July 17 (UPI) -- Australia will spend A$35 million (about US$26 million) over the next four years in a bid to block extremism in the country's Muslim communities.

Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs Andrew Robb said the National Action Plan for social cohesion would include programs such as mentoring, employment help, community outreach by authorities and counseling, The Age reported Monday.

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Robb, speaking Sunday, said the plan came about as a result of last year's London bombings, which were committed by Muslims resident in Britain, The plan, he added, was a "very serious attempt to stop extremism getting any sort of toehold," among Muslims in Australia.

Robb also said the program, by giving Muslim immigrants the skills to integrate better into Australian society, would also help to overcome negative stereotyping of Muslims and Islam in Australian society.

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