Different religious organisations, lawmakers, CEOs, and others offered their support following the terrorist attacks at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand on Friday afternoon.
Police estimated that 49 people were killed and dozens more injured in the shooting. The attack would be the deadliest shooting in the country if the total number of fatalities is confirmed.
Here’s what world influencers had to say:
New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference
“Dear Members of the Muslim community in Aotearoa New Zealand, We hold you in prayer as we hear the terrible news of violence against Muslims at mosques in Christchurch,” the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference said.
“We wish you to be aware of our solidarity with you in the face of such violence. Peace, Salaam.”
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis
“There can be few acts of greater evil than the massacre of peaceful people at prayer,” the chief rabbi said on Twitter. “The attacks in New Zealand were terrorism of the most despicable kind, callously planned & motivated by the scourge of islamophobia. The victims & their families are in our hearts & our prayers.”
New Zealand rugby team All Blacks
“Christchurch, we stand with you during this time,” the rugby team said, adding the Māori phrase for “stay strong.” “Our thoughts and sympathies are with everyone affected by today’s tragedy. Stay strong. Kia Kaha.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook
“Devastated by the reports out of New Zealand,” Cook said on Twitter. “The community in Christchurch is in our hearts, as are all affected by this horrific attack.”
Cook ended the tweet with a quote from civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.: “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York
Ocasio-Cortez listed the names of cities where previous mass shootings occurred in the US.
“At [first] I thought of saying, ‘Imagine being told your house of faith isn’t safe anymore,’ Ocasio-Cortez said on Twitter. “But I couldn’t say ‘imagine.’ Because of Charleston. Pittsburgh. Sutherland Springs.”
“What good are your thoughts & prayers when they don’t even keep the pews safe,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
Ocasio-Cortez qualified her remark, adding that her phrase was in reference to the NRA’s “phrase used to deflect conversation away from policy change during tragedies.”
“Friends, Morning (Friday) is Jummah, the weekly day of worship for our community of Muslim friends and loved ones,” the lawmaker added. “Be there for them. Check in. Perhaps extend a kind gesture at your local mosque. There is so much fear and hate. We must negate it with active, courageous love.”
US ambassador to New Zealand Scott Brown
“We’re heartbroken over the events in Christchurch today,” Brown said in a brief statement. “We stand with our Kiwi friends and neighbours and our prayers are with you. Kia kaha.”
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
“What has happened in Christchurch is an extraordinary act of unprecedented violence,” the prime minister said. “It has no place in New Zealand.”
“Many of those affected will be members of our migrant communities – New Zealand is their home – they are us,” she continued. “The person who has committed this violent act has no place here.”
Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison
“I’m horrified by the reports I’m following of the serious shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand,” the prime minister said. “The situation is still unfolding but our thoughts and prayers are with our Kiwi cousins.”
“I condemn the violent, extremist, right-wing terrorist attack that has stolen the lives of so many innocent New Zealanders as they went about their peaceful practice of worship at their mosques in Christchurch today,” he added.
“Australians stand with all New Zealanders today during this dark time where hate and violence has stolen their peace and innocence. Kia kaha.”
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan
“Shocked and strongly condemn the Christchurch, New Zealand, terrorist attack on mosques,” the prime minister said. “This reaffirms what we have always maintained: that terrorism does not have a religion. Prayers go to the victims and their families.”
Premier of Victoria Dan Andrews
“Victorians stand with Christchurch tonight, after this darkest of days,” Andrews said. “And we must all stand against the forces in our society that try and stir up animosity and anger. That try to divide us.”
Andrews said buildings in Melbourne will be lit in New Zealand’s colours in solidarity and that its flags would be flown at half-mast.
“Like Melbourne, Christchurch has been strengthened over generations by its proud multicultural communities,” he added. “It came together to rebuild after an unprecedented earthquake. And it will come together again.”
“To our NZ family who will be feeling shaken and shocked – arohanui.”
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