- World leaders have expressed their disgust, support, and determination in response to the deaths of 49 people in mass shootings in New Zealand on Friday.
- Two gunmen entered two mosques in Christchurch at 1:40 p.m. and opened fire with automatic weapons, police said. A 28-year-old man has been charged with murder.
- Here’s how the world responded to what Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called “one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”
- Read more about New Zealand’s deadliest ever mass shooting here.
At least 49 Muslims were killed in two mass shootings at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday.
World leaders like US President Donald Trump, Turkey’s President Recep Erdoğan, and Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan have spoken out to stand by New Zealanders, and reassure Muslims the world over.
The death toll includes several foreign nationals, including one Saudi and four Indians. Several Malaysians were taken to hospital with gunshot wounds.
New Zealand police said late on Friday they have arrested a 28-year-old white man and charged him with murder.
Turkey’s President Recep Erdoğan said the attack illustrated a growing hostility toward Islam, “idly” watched by the world.
“With this attack, hostility towards Islam, that the world has been idly watching and even encouraging for some time, has gone beyond individual harassment to reach the level of mass killing,”Erdogan said at the funeral of a former Turkish minister.
“It is clear that the understanding represented by the killer that also targets our country, our people and myself, has started to take over Western societies like a cancer.”
He later tweeted: “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.”
US President Donald Trump said the 49 victims had “senselessly died.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also released the following statement:
“The United States strongly condemns the attack in Christchurch. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. We stand in solidarity with the people of New Zealand and their government against this vicious act of hate.”
UK Prime Minister Theresa May deemed the attack a “sickening act of violence.”
Imran Khan, Pakistan’s leader, iterated that “terrorism does not have a religion.”
Police in New Zealand confirmed they had charged a white man for murder in related to the mass shooting.
The Queen of England said: “At this tragic time, my thoughts and prayers are with all New Zealanders.”
She added, according to The Royal Household: “I have been deeply saddened by the appalling events in Christchurch today. Prince Philip and I send our condolences to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives.”
“I also pay tribute to the emergency services and volunteers who are providing support to those who have been injured.”
Barack Obama said he and his wife Michelle “grieve” with New Zealanders and Muslims.
He wrote: “Michelle and I send our condolences to the people of New Zealand. We grieve with you and the Muslim community. All of us must stand against hatred in all its forms.”
Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry said it “strongly condemns attacking 2 mosques during Friday prayers in Christchurch, southern New Zealand, which resulted in dozens of deaths and injuries.”
The Ministry denounced of all forms of terrorism, and said “terrorism has no religion and homeland.”
New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Friday’s attack was “an extraordinary act of unprecedented violence.”
In a press conference after the attack, Ardern called it “one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”
“Many of those who will have been directly affected by the shooting may be migrants to New Zealand,” Arden said. “They may even be refugees here. They have chosen to make New Zealand their home, and it is their home.”
“They are us,” she continued. “The person who has perpetuated this violence against us is not. They have no place in New Zealand. There is no place in New Zealand for such acts of extreme and unprecedented violence.”
London’s first Muslim mayor, Sadiq Khan, expressed his concern about religious intolerance.
“When the flames of hatred are fanned, when people are demonized because of their faith, when people’s fears are played on rather than addressed, the consequences are deadly as we have seen so sadly today,” he said, according to Reuters.
The Prime Minister of neighbouring Australia, Scott Morrison, said the attackers had “stolen the lives of so many innocent New Zealanders”.
Morrison told media on Friday evening that one of the men arrested by police was an Australian citizen.
President Emmanuel Macron said “France stands against all forms of extremism.”
Macron wrote in French: “All our thoughts are for the victims of heinous crimes against the mosques of Christchurch in New Zealand, and for their loved ones. France stands against all forms of extremism and acts with its partners against terrorism in the world.”
The Pope says was “deeply saddened to learn of the injury and loss of life caused by the senseless acts of violence.”
A statement from the Vatican said: “He assures all New Zealanders, and in particular the Muslim community, of his heartfelt solidarity in the wake of these attacks.”
“Mindful of the efforts of the security and emergency personnel in this difficult situation, His Holiness prays for the healing of the injured, the consolation of those who grieve the loss of their loved ones, and for all affected by this tragedy. Commending those who have died to the loving mercy of Almighty God, Pope Francis invokes the divine blessings of comfort and strength upon the nation.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook quoted racial rights activist Martin Luther King in his tribute.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez chose to condemn intolerance.
Star New Zealand rugby player Sonny Bill Williams posted a heartfelt message to the victims.
My heart is hurting about the news coming out of Christchurch. Sending love & prayers to the effected families❤️???? pic.twitter.com/7PX9wc56b8
— Sonny Bill Williams (@SonnyBWilliams) March 15, 2019
Donald Tusk President of the European Council called it “harrowing news.”
He wrote: “Harrowing news from New Zealand overnight. The brutal attack in Christchurch will never diminish the tolerance and decency that New Zealand is famous for. Our thoughts in Europe are with the victims and their families.”
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