Alwaght – Twin attacks on Muslim worshippers by terrorists in two mosques in New Zealand that killed 49 on Friday continue to attract outrage and condemnations around the world.
The known targets so far were the Masjid al Noor mosque in central Christchurch, as well as a second mosque in suburban Linwood, police said.
The man behind the brutal attack is a confirmed admirer of US President Donald Trump. The Australian gunman, identified as Brenton Tarrant, broadcast live footage on Facebook of the attack on one mosque in the city of Christchurch, mirroring the carnage played out in video games, after publishing a “manifesto” in which he denounced immigrants, calling them “invaders”.
In his manifesto, Tarrant said he saw Trump as “symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.”
The 28-year-old terrorist said he chose to use a gun over other weapons because it would spark a debate around the second amendment.
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters one suspect in custody was “an extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist who was an Australian-born citizen.”
Iran’s FM cites Western hypocrisy
In a Friday tweet, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif cited Trump’s Islamophobic remarks, and lashed out at the “Western hypocrisy of defending demonization of Muslims as ‘freedom of expression’.”
“Impunity in Western ‘democracies’ to promote bigotry leads to this: Israeli thugs enter mosque in Palestine to insult Muslims; terrorists in NZ livestream their murder of 49 Muslims. Western hypocrisy of defending demonization of Muslims as ‘freedom of expression’ MUST end,” he said.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi also denounced the deadly attacks the white supremacist as inhumane and totally brutal.
“Any terrorist attack must be condemned by all states no matter where in the world, by whom, and with what motivation and pretext it is carried out,” Qassemi said.
UN chief urges action to stop Islamophobia
He also urged governments to prevent racist and Islamophobic movements and ideologies from threatening the security and tranquility of the citizens of states across the world.
António Guterres, the UN secretary general, condemned the shooting “of innocent people as they prayed peacefully in mosques in New Zealand”, adding: “Today and every day, we must stand united against anti-Muslim hatred, & all forms of bigotry & terror.”
Elsewhere, Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said, “I strongly condemn the terror attack against Al Noor mosque in New Zealand and Muslim worshippers, may Allah have mercy on the victims and grant a speedy recovery to the wounded.”
He added: “On behalf of my country, I offer my condolences to the Islamic world and the people of New Zealand, who have been targeted by this deplorable act – the latest example of rising racism and Islamophobia.”
“Terrorism does not have a religion”
Imran Khan, who was elected prime minister of Pakistan last summer, said the attacks confirmed what he had always maintained: “that terrorism does not have a religion”.
According to the Jordanian Foreign Ministry, a Jordanian man was among those killed and five other Jordanian nationals have been injured in the attack.
“This heinous massacre is an appalling terrorist crime. It unites us against extremism, hatred and terrorism, which knows no religion,” Jordan’s King Abdullah said.
Lebanese FM warns over rise of extremism in the West
Lebanon’s Foreign Minister Jubran Bassil warned against the rise of extremism in the West, saying it puts “communities at great risk and in direct confrontation that will only lead to the scourge of war.”
Egypt said it stands by New Zealand and the families of the victims, and condemned “the despicable act of terrorism that goes against all principles of humanity and serves as a new reminder of the need to continue and intensify international efforts to fight terrorism, violence and extremism.”
Qatar said it condemned in the strongest terms the “terrorist and brutal attack” in New Zealand.
In a statement on Friday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Qatar reiterated its firm stance on rejecting violence and terrorism, regardless of motives and reasons.
Indonesia, the world’s biggest Muslim-majority country, strongly condemned the shooting as authorities were checking on whether any of its citizens were victims.
In Malaysia, Anwar Ibrahim, the leader of the biggest party in its ruling coalition, said one Malaysian had been wounded in the attack he described as a “black tragedy facing humanity and universal peace”.
OIC demands protection of Muslims
Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) said the attack “served as a further warning on the obvious dangers of hate, intolerance, and Islamophobia.”
OIC’s Secretary General, Youssef al-Othaimeen, urged the New Zealand government to provide more protection to Muslim communities living in the country.
Al-Azhar, the world’s foremost Sunni Islamic institution and university, said the attacks reflects an “escalation of the discourse of hate, xenophobia and Islamophobia” in Western countries.
Ahmed al-Tayyeb, the Grand Imam of the Cairo-based institution, condemned “the atrocious terrorist attack,” and conveyed his condolences to the families of those killed.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed sorrow over the “citizens who were attacked and murdered out of racist hatred” in attacks on the mosques.
“We stand together against such acts of terrorism,” Merkel said through her spokesman, Steffen Seibert, on Twitter, adding that the victims had been doing nothing more than “peacefully praying in their mosque”.
The French president, Emmanuel Macron, offered his solidarity. “All our thoughts are with the victims of the heinous crimes against the mosques while the British prime minister Theresa May said “On behalf of the UK, my deepest condolences to the people of New Zealand after the horrifying terrorist attack in Christchurch.”