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Anti-Muslim violence

2019-MAR: Reactions to the
Shooting of Almost 100 People
in Two New Zealand Mosques.
Reforms to Gun Laws Coming.
Part 2:

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This topic is continued below from the previous article

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2019-MAR-17: Reactions in the U.S. to the New Zealand mass shootings (Continued):

  • Farhana Khera, executive director of the civil rights group Muslim Advocates issued a statement. Referring to:
    • past U.S. attacks on Muslims and mosques in Florida, Texas, Washington;
    • a Minnesota mosque that was bombed, and
    • attacks planned against Muslim communities in Florida, Kansas, and New York,

he said that the New Zealand:

"... heinous attack is not an anomaly or a surprise. A house of worship should be a sacred place where people are safe, not a target of hate and bloodshed. These attacks happened during Friday prayer services. ... As Muslims across the world and across America gather to worship today, we urge them to stay vigilant and strong." 

"The white nationalist movement has celebrated Trump’s words and policies. The President needs to immediately and unequivocally condemn and disavow this attacker and the white nationalist movement."

He also called on FBI Director Christopher Wray to:

"... prioritize the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of right-wing, white nationalist violence -- the most significant threat to public safety in our nation today."

Khera also said out that it wasn’t sufficient for President Trump, who has referred to white nationalists as "very fine people," to only send his thoughts and prayers.

  • Omid Safi, a Professor of Islamic Studies at Duke University in Durham, NC, said:

    "We have seen this in a Sikh Gurudwara; you’ve seen this in the Pittsburgh Synagogue; you’ve seen it in the black Church in Charleston; and you are seeing in the Christchurch mosques in New Zealand. We are in this together. There is a common enemy, and it is white supremacy and violence."  1

  • Betsy Klein and Kevin Liptak, writing for CNN, said that President Trump does not regard white nationalism as a rising global threat. Trump said:

    "I don't really. I think it's a small group of people that have very, very serious problems, I guess. ... If you look at what happened in New Zealand, perhaps that's the case. I don't know enough about it yet. They're just learning about the person and the people involved. ... I think it's a horrible event, it's a horrible thing," 2

  • President Trump also tweeted:

    "My warmest sympathy and best wishes goes [sic] out to the people of New Zealand after the horrible massacre in the Mosques. 49 innocent people have so senselessly died, with so many more seriously injured. The U.S. stands by New Zealand for anything we can do. God bless all!"

    and:

    "Just spoke with Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, regarding the horrific events that have taken place over the past 24 hours. I informed the Prime Minister ... that we stand in solidarity with New Zealand -- and that any assistance the U.S.A. can give, we stand by ready to help. We love you New Zealand." 2

  • Ivnka Trump, the U.S.'s "first daughter," tweeted:

    "49 innocent people were slaughtered in their place of worship during the terrorist attack on Christchurch Mosques. We join New Zealand and Muslim communities around the world in condemnation of this evil as we pray for the families of each victim and grieve together."

  • Scott Brown, the U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand tweeted:

    "We're heartbroken over the events in Christchurch today. We stand with our Kiwi friends and neighbors and our prayers are with you. Kia kaha,"

    "Kia kaha" is a Māori phrase that is commonly used by the people of New Zealand. It means: "Stay strong."

  • The Coalition of Independent Catholic Bishops is a group of of leaders within various independent Catholic traditions that have split from the Roman Catholic Church. With reference to the New Zealand massacre, they issued a statement, saying that they:

    "... decry religious persecution and heinous acts of violence spawned by ignorance and misguided zeal for ideologies of narrow-mindedness." 3

  • Former U.S. President Barack Obama (D) tweeted:

    "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 of its forms." 3

  • New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told reporters on MAR-16:

    "While work is being done as to the chain of events that lead to both the holding of ... [the shooter's] gun license and the possession of these weapons, I can tell you one thing right now -- our gun laws will change," 4

  • John Sato, 96, joined the march against racism. He is a World War II veteran and was one of only two Japanese servicemen in the New Zealand army during the war. He lives in the suburb of Howick, which is a suburb of Auckland at the North north side of New Zealand's North island. When he heard the news of the slaughter in Christchurch on the evening of MAR-15, he couldn't sleep. The next morning, he took a series of four busses to get to Christchurch. On Sunday, he reached the site of the rally against racism. Physically supported by a police officer and a series of strangers, and was able to take part in the march. He said:

    "I think it's such a tragedy, and yet it has the other side. It has brought people together, no matter what their race or anything. People suddenly realized we're all one. We care for each other." 6

Webmaster's comment:

John had commented that he is a bit out of touch with the modern world. But from his actions and his comment that "we are all one" I think that he is very much in touch.

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2019-MAR-17: More details have emerged about the massacre:

As of the evening of MAR-17 in New Zealand (or early morning of the same day New York time):

After removing victims' bodies from the two crime scenes, police have raised the total death toll to 50 persons. One more person was found to have been killed at the Al Noor Mosque, Thirty-four victims remain in Christchurch Hospital. Twelve of them are in critical condition. A 4-year-old girl was flown to a children's hospital in Auckland, on the North Island of New Zealand where she remains in critical condition.

David Meates, a spokesperson for Christchurch Hospital said:

"Many of these people require multiple surgeries due to the complex nature of their injuries, and the need to provide a number of shorter surgeries in a phased way so patients have the best chance of recovery,

The police have not issued a list of those killed. They will publish a list after all of the bodies are formally identified. However, Air New Zealand issued a statement saying that one of its employees, Lilik Abdul Hamid, had died in the shooting,

Brenton Harrison Tarrant has been charged with murder. He appeared in a Christchurch courtroom on Saturday morning local time. Police are considering whether to also charge him under New Zealand's Terrorism Suppression Act.

New Zealand completely abolished capital punishment in 1989.

Police believe that he was a lone gunman.

The shooter used five guns in the assault including two semiautomatic assault weapons. He had acquired all of them legally.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has promised changes to the country's gun laws.

Andrew Arulanandam, a spokesperson for the National Rifle Association, which promote the rights of gun owners in the U.S., said:

"It doesn’t matter if these senseless tragedies occur in the United States or abroad, our deepest sympathies are with the victims and their families. This was the act of a monster. To the extent the N.R.A. is ridiculed for extending our deepest sympathies to those impacted by this horrific event, we make no apologies for our thoughts, words or prayers."

Cam Edwards, a host on NRA-TV, the NRA’s online streaming service, tweeted:

"What’s really changed in our world over the last 20 years isn’t the design of firearms,It’s the revolutionary way we have of communicating with strangers, creating online tribes and subcultures that simply didn’t exist in large numbers a generation ago." 5

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This topic continues in Part 3

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Carol Kuruvilla, "American Muslims Grieve, Call For Action After New Zealand Mosque Shootings," Huffington Post, 2019-MAR-15, at: https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/
  2. Betsy Klein and Kevin Liptak, "Trump says he does not think white nationalism is a rising global threat," CNN Politics, 2019-MAR-15, at: https://www.cnn.com/
  3. Barack Obama's tweet is at: https://twitter.com/
  4. Nichole Chavez, et al., "Suspect in New Zealand mosque shootings was prepared 'to continue his attack,' PM says," CNN World, 2019-MAR-16, at: https://www.cnn.com/
  5. "New Zealand Shooting Live Updates: More Than a Dozen Victims in Critical Condition," New York Times, 2019-MAR-16, at: https://www.nytimes.com/
  6. Gianluca Mezzofiore, "A 95-year-old World War II veteran took 4 buses to attend a march after the New Zealand mosque attacks," CNN, 2019-MAR-27, at: https://www.cnn.com/

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Copyright © 2019 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2019-MAR-15
Latest update; 2019-MAR-28
Author: B.A. Robinson

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