New Zealand Muslims urge govt vigilance on hate crimes

Gunman livestreamed shooting for 17 minutes

Published: March 15, 2019 12:55:39 | Updated: March 16, 2019 18:09:35

Members of a family react outside the mosque following a shooting at the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand on March 15, 2019 — Reuters photo

The South Auckland Muslim Association (SAMA) in New Zealand has called on the country's government to be vigilant in combating hate against all minorities following a terrorist attack at a mosque.

"It was a tremendous shock, sadness and anger that we heard of the tragic and fatal shooting in one of the mosques in Christchurch. We condemn this terrorist attack on Muslim in the mosque," SAMA said in a statement on Friday.

The association offered condolences to the victims and their families, according to a UNB report.

Dozens are feared dead in the terror attack.

Australian police identified the terrorist as Brenton Tarrant - a white, 28-year-old Australian-born man, who livestreamed the shooting for 17 minutes, according to local media reports. Police said they were doing everything they could to have the footage removed.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called the attacker an "extremist rightwing violent terrorist", who he says, "reminds us of the evil that is ever present and would seek to strike out at any time".

SAMA said: "We call upon the government and other communities alike to be vigilant in combating hatred against all minorities, knowing that prejudice and intolerance can pose a lethal threat to innocent life.

"When one is attacked, we are all attacked and our whole society is affected."


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