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Al-Azhar: New Zealand massacre result of Islamophobia

People lay flowers and notes to pay tribute close to the Al Noor Mosque, following a mass shooting on March 15, in Christchurch, New Zealand on 16 March, 2019 [Peter Adones/Anadolu Agency]
People lay flowers and notes to pay tribute close to the Al Noor Mosque, following a mass shooting on March 15, in Christchurch, New Zealand on 16 March, 2019 [Peter Adones/Anadolu Agency]

The Grand Sheikh of Egypt’s Al-Azhar university, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Tayyip, condemned the massacre of worshippers in two mosques in New Zealand, noting this indicates a dangerous spike in hatred and Islamophobia.

Al-Azhar issued a statement yesterday on the massacres carried out in Christchurch, which resulted in the death of 49 Muslims and left 20 others wounded. In the statement, Al-Tayyip stated that the attack is the result of increasing hatred against Muslims in Europe, Rassd.com reported.

“This attack, which violated the sanctity of God’s houses and shed worshippers’ blood, must be an alarm to stop intolerance and the racist currents and groups which carry out such crimes of bigotry,” Al-Tayyip said.

“More efforts are needed to nurture coexistence, tolerance and social integration among people of the same nation, regardless of their religion and culture,” he added.

The international community almost universally condemned the attacks and blamed the increasing trend of hate speech against Muslims and immigrants. However, some officials such as the Australian Senator Fraser Anning condemned the attacks, but at the same time blamed Islam and Muslims for being savage.

“However, whilst this kind of violent vigilantism can never be justified, what it highlights is the growing fear within our community, both in Australia and New Zealand of the increasing Muslim presence,” Anning said.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the attacks as “terrorist” and said it was a “dark” day for her country.

Read: Palestinians killed, wounded in New Zealand terror attack

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