Anthony Albanese

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Friday that sectarian politics will divide the country, following The Muslim Vote's announcement that it will campaign to mobilize Muslim voters in the next election.

"I don't think and don't want Australia to go down the road of faith-based political parties because what that will do is undermine social cohesion," Albanese said at a press conference on Friday, ABC News reported.

Pointing to the example of the Labor Party that has members from different religions, Albanese said, "That's the way you bring cohesion. It seems to me, as well, beyond obvious that it is not in the interest of smaller minority groups to isolate themselves – which is what a faith-based party system would do."

Albanese was reacting to The Muslim Vote movement, which had revealed its plan to mobilize the Muslim community in Australia to vote as a bloc against Labor in the next elections. The movement wanted to empower the Muslims against the Labor government for its refusal to take a tougher stand on Israel throughout the Gaza war.

Albanese stressed that Western Australia voted for the Labor Party and not for Fatima Payman specifically. Payman, too, had always maintained that she represented the Labor Party, and that she may not have won if she had contested as an independent candidate.

On Thursday, Payman, who was elected from Western Australia, had resigned from the Labor Party, but stated that she will be on the crossbench as an independent. She quit the Labor Party after she was suspended when she crossed the floor to vote in favor of Palestine statehood.

Payman had, reportedly, spoken to Muslim groups and as she announced her resignation told reporters: "Watch this space."

According to a report by Sky News, Labor could lose six seats in Melbourne and Sydney to Muslim representatives.

However, Islamic community leader Dr Jamal Rifi urged the Muslim community to dismiss calls by The Muslim Vote movement to vote on the basis of religion. Independent Senator Zali Stegall, too, rejected faith-based politics, calling it dangerous.

Citing the influx of asylum seekers from theocratic governments, Albanese pointed out, "I note as well that many people who are refugees in Australia have fled theocracies, have fled regimes that have been based upon so-called religion."