Bob Katter has suggested cutting the numbers of skilled migrants and families entering the country could prevent hate crimes.

Incidents like the defacing of a Queensland mosque could be prevented if the government cut Australia’s migrant numbers, Bob Katter says.

The Independent MP says he’s concerned about religious persecution in his electorate after a Mareeba mosque was sprayed with the words “evil” last week, following a series of anti-terrorism raids in Queensland and NSW.

Mr Katter said migrants with views “very different to Australia” were taking jobs that should go to local people.

“They’re going to be flocking in … and causing tension, dissension and the sort of ugliness that we haven’t seen before in Australia,” he told reporters in Canberra on Monday.

To allay locals’ fears, the government must cut down migrant numbers he said.

Mr Katter wants cuts to the number of skilled and family reunion migrants.

“People that have that ugliness inherent in themselves are getting a lot of air they don’t deserve,” he said.

“People are scared.”

Mr Katter has asked the government to review the migration program.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison says that won’t happen.

The government applied its immigration program without focus on religion or ethnicity, he told parliament on Monday.