American Muslim governors are calling for action against Islamophobia after a terror attack at two mosques in New Zealand left at least 49 people dead and injured dozens more.
The massacre in Christchurch took place around the time of Friday prayer at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques and appears to have been well-planned, according to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. One person has been charged and at the least two others are in custody in connection with the shootings, believed to be the country’s deadliest in modern biography. One of the gunmen live-streamed the attack on Facebook andposted a grey nationalist, anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim manifesto online , strong> The New York Times reports.
In the U.S ., Muslim commanders immediately responded to the attacks with calls for increased security at mosques, Islamic schools and other Muslim institutions, particularly during prayer times.
Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, advised American leaders to express their views against Islamophobia and anti-immigrant sentiment.
“We mourn the heartbreaking killings of men, women and children gathered for devotion in their houses of devotion and suggest governors in our commonwealth and worldwide to express their views forcefully against the growing anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant abhor that appears to have motivated these white supremacist terrorists, ” Awad said.
CAIR and other Muslim exponents and leads urged the public not to share videos or portraits of the carnage online.
Many turned to social media to grieve and share concerns for their own safety.
Some mothers fretted publicly about how they would explain the report to their children.
Rep. Ilhan Omar( D-Minn .) shared a verse from the Quran that entails, “We belong to God and certainly to Him we will return, ” which Muslims usually recite upon discovering news of a extinction or a tragedy. She pledged to attend a Friday prayer service and encouraged others not to “live in fear.”
Farhana Khera, executive director of the civil right group Muslim Advocates, said in the following statement that this “heinous attack is not an anomaly or a surprise.”
“Over the past few years, the government had been an epidemic of attacks and planned attacks on Muslim communities and mosques across the United States, ” Khera said, pointing to mosques “thats been” burned in Texas, Washington and Florida, a mosque that was bombed in Minnesota, and mass assaults projected against Muslim communities in New York, Kansas and Florida.
“A house of worship should be a sacred place where people are safe , not a target of loathe and bloodshed, ” Khera said. “These onrushes happened during Friday prayer services and, as Muslims across the world and across America gather to worship today, we urge them to stay vigilant and strong.”
Khera pointed out that it wasn’t enough for President Donald Trump, who has referred to lily-white nationalists as “very fine people, ” to merely send his thoughts and prayers.
“The white-hot nationalist movement has celebrated Trump’s words and policies, ” Khera said. “The President needs to immediately and unequivocally condemn and disavow this attacker and the grey nationalist movement.”
Khera likewise called on FBI Director Christopher Wray to “prioritize the prevention, detecting, investigation and prosecution of right-wing, lily-white nationalist savagery — the most significant threat to public safety in our nation today.”
Other Muslim commenters agreed that these attacks didn’t are available in a vacuum, but instead stemmed from years of anti-Muslim rhetoric.
Others pointed out that these kinds of racist criticizes don’t just happens to Muslims and that other marginalized groups have become victims of white supremacist ideologies in recent years.
“We have seen this in a Sikh gurdwara, you’ve seen this in the Pittsburgh Synagogue, you’ve met it in the black Church in Charleston, and you are seeing in the ChristChurch mosques in New Zealand, ” Duke University Islamic studies professor Omid Safi wrote in a Facebook reflection. “We are in this together. There is a common enemy, and it is white supremacy and violence.”