As hundreds of New Zealand Muslims were observing their Friday prayers in the city of Christchurch, a self-confessed far-right racist entered Al-Noor mosque and opened fire for several minutes leaving behind no less than 30 dead and several wounded. At the same time, another gunman attacked Linwood Mosque to the east of the city killing another 20 or so worshipers.
The Muslim Association of Britain is utterly shocked and horrified as to the scale and devastation as well as the calculation and coordination of this despicable terrorist attack. What is also horrifying is the fact that the culprit broadcast his attack and the bloodbath he created live on Facebook, never attempting to hide or conceal his aims and ambitions.
While our initial reaction is to express our heartfelt condolences, prayers and thoughts to the Muslim community affected by this terror attack, to the dead and wounded and to all New Zealanders who are shocked by this unprecedented and unprovoked attack, it is crucial that an examination of the reasons and drivers for such a hate-filled racist massacre be launched as soon as possible.
Anas Altikriti, President of MAB stated this morning: “For years now, MAB and countless organisations, campaigns and figures have warned against the ever-increasing disease of Islamophobia, which might have been sown by extreme elements within western societies, but over the years carried and promoted, often inadvertently or non-deliberately, but callously nonetheless, by mainstream elements within politics, society and media.”
He added: “It is utterly tragic that a bloodbath of this scale and magnitude should happen for people to hopefully finally take notice.”
MAB calls upon our government as well as the international community to condemn this attack in unconditional and unequivocal terms, and to demand that Far-Right extremists of whatever name, title or label, be classified as a global terrorist network which all authorities, must collaborate to root out. It is also time that Islamophobia, in all its shapes, tropes and forms, was criminalised and made punishable by the severest of sentences.
On this blessed yet tragic day, we call on Muslims in the UK and around the world, to keep the victims of these attacks in their thoughts and prayers, and to pray for their families and loved ones, for the people of New Zealand and for peace and sanity to prevail.
Muslim Association of Britain
15th March 2019
Note to editors:
- For further information, interviews or enquiries, please contact the MAB office on 07907827913 or by email email@example.com
- Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) is a UK organisation founded in 1997, dedicated to serving society by promoting the accepted understanding of Islam with its spiritual teachings, ideals, civil concepts and moral values, all directed towards serving humanity.