The seven-million strong American Muslim Community was alarmed at the White Supremacist terror attacks on two mosques in New Zealand where gunmen entered the mosques and began to shoot and kill Muslim parishioners indiscriminately during the Friday prayer services. At least 49 Muslims were killed and another 48 injured. New Zealand Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed children among shooting victims.
An online screed the shooter apparently left behind explained that he was specifically targeting Muslims who invaded "our lands [and] live on our soil" and that it was an "act of revenge against Islam."
According to media reports, one terrorist, who identified himself as 28-year-old Australian-born Brenton Tarrant, filmed the attack on social media. Dressed in a military-style, camouflage outfit, and carrying an automatic rifle he started randomly shooting people in the Al Noor mosque shortly after 1.40pm local time.
The terrorist then opened fire at a second mosque in suburb of Linwood, where police said there had also been multiple casualties.
Tarrant, who filmed himself attacking a Christchurch mosque in a Facebook Live video, posted a 74-page manifesto in which he claims to be from a "working class, low income family".
He said he was of Scottish, Irish and English stock and moved to New Zealand temporarily to plan and train and then stayed there after deciding to conduct the attack.
"I have read the writings of Dylann Roof and many others, but only really took true inspiration from Knight Justiciar Breivik," he wrote.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the attack was carried out "by an extremist right-wing violent terrorist" and media reports indicate that the manifesto posted before the attack includes anti-Muslim rhetoric.
The white supremacist author of the manifesto called himself a supporter of President Donald Trump, who he sees "as a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose."
Authorities have detained four people and defused explosive devices following what appeared to be a carefully-planned terror attack.
In initial reaction the Trump administration's condolences failed to use the word "Muslim" or "Islam." Secretary of State Mike Pompeo this morning (March 15) offered his "personal condolences to the Nation of New Zealand in the wake of the mosque attacks," said "the United States condemns this hateful assault," and pledged the US's "unwavering solidarity with the government and people of New Zealand," in a press conference this morning. But he never mentioned the Muslim community.
Responding to the horrific terror attack in New Zealand President Trump Twitted: "My warmest sympathy and best wishes goes out to the people of New Zealand after the horrible massacre in the Mosques.'" He said "The U.S. stands by New Zealand for anything we can do. God bless all!" However, Trump said he doesn't seen white nationalism as a threat on the rise across the globe.
American Muslim groups Friday denounced the White Supremacist terror attacks on two mosques in New Zealand.
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee: In a statement American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) said: "We at the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) are shocked over the news coming out of New Zealand. Our hearts are shattered for those who lost family members and loved ones in this tragedy. We stand with the Muslim Community of New Zealand after the horrific white supremacist terror attack that has left 49 dead and dozens injured; and we offer our condolences to the families of those who lost loved ones.
The ADC statement said: "The ideology of white supremacy which drove the attackers is a grave threat to communities of color, including Arabs and Muslims, in the U.S. and abroad. White supremacy is not just an ideology, it has become a battle cry for terror attacks as seen in New Zealand. White supremacist terrorism kills more Americans than any other ideologically motivated violence and yet it is not taken seriously this needs to change. In the wake of this terror attack we call on elected officials in the U.S. and across the world to commit themselves to opposing hate speech and the ideology of white supremacy."
US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO): The US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), a coalition of several leading national and local Muslim organizations and institutions, strongly condemned the terror attacks that took place at two New Zealand mosques. "Let us make no mistake about it- this is an act of terror against innocent worshipers," said USCMO Secretary General Oussama Jammal. "To simply call it an act of violence severely downplays the hate ideology that fueled this heinous crime."
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