Christensen backs off Islam after police minister blast

IN THE face of criticism from Queensland's Police Minister, Dawson MP George Christensen has backed down from strong comments about "radical Islamists" made after the death of an English backpacker.

Police have confirmed they have charged a 29-year-old French national over Tuesday's stabbing at a backpackers hostel at Home Hill, which is in Mr Christensen's electorate.

The man has been charged with one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder, one count of animal cruelty and 12 counts of assault.

Police claim as the man was been taken from hospital to the watchhouse he resisted a direction and had to be tasered and capsicum sprayed.

He is due to appear in the Townsville Magistrates Court tomorrow.

Witnesses claim they heard a man yell "Allahu Akbar", or God is Great in Arabic, before Ms Ayliffe-Chung was fatally stabbed.

In reaction to Ms Ayliffe-Chung's death, Mr Christensen posted on his Facebook page yesterday that "radical Islamists" needed to be stopped from entering the country. Mr Christensen's call for tighter border controls was reiterated soon after by Mt Isa MP Bob Katter and One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson.

By early this afternoon, however, Queensland Police Minister Bill Byrne said there was no immediate evidence to suggest extremism and those that sought to exploit the incident should cease and desist.

"Some of the commentary that has been made out there by predictable sources is highly speculatory and unhelpful," Mr Byrne said.

"So it's really opportunistic, in some ways, to make commentary on this set of circumstances and I encourage people to desist from it at this point in time."

Following the Police Minister's media release, Mr Christensen had changed his tune slightly when he spoke to the Daily Mercury yesterday afternoon, but was still vocal in his call to "tighten up our screening processes".

Tributes for Ms Ayliffe-Chung's have been flowing in from around the world.

"Today the world has lost one of the most beautiful young women to ever walk this planet. Today I lost a best friend. A girl like no other, one of the happiest, full of energy, delightful, energetic and hilarious girl I've come across," one wrote.

Her former boss at a Gold Coast hotel described her as "infectiously happy" and dearly missed.

Another wrote of the "anguish" that she was no longer in the world. "May your spirit live on in all of us forever more," they wrote.

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