World reacts to New Zealand terrorist attacks on mosque

World reacts to New Zealand terrorist attacks on mosque
Many of those caught up in the shootings may have been migrants and refugees, said the New Zealand PM. (AP)
Updated 18 March 2019

World reacts to New Zealand terrorist attacks on mosque

World reacts to New Zealand terrorist attacks on mosque
  • King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman offer their condolences to New Zealand's government
  • The Muslim World League expressed its deep sorrow and condemnation at the terrorist attack

Political, Muslim and leaders of other faiths expressed their disgust at deadly shootings at two mosques in New Zealand on Friday as some revealed their citizens had been caught up in the bloodshed.
The timing of the shootings in the city of Christchurch, during Friday prayers, and the posting on social media of what appeared to be live, point-of-view video footage of the assault by a gunman added to the distress of many.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman offered their condolences to New Zealand’s government after the terrorist attacks on two mosques in the country.

King Salman on Friday sent a cable of condolences to the Governor-General of New Zealand Batsy Reddy for the victims of Friday’s terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch.

"We strongly condemn this outrageous criminal act and would like to express to you and to the families of the deceased and to the people of New Zealand on behalf of the people and government of Saudi Arabia our heartfelt and sincere condolences.” 

He assured the Kingdom’s support for New Zealand and said that the terrorist attack was condemned by “all religions and international conventions.”

"The heinous massacre of the worshipers at mosques in New Zealand is a terrorist act and underlines the responsibility of the international community to confront the rhetoric of hatred and terrorism, which is not recognized by religions or values of coexistence among peoples," said King Salman via his official Twitter account.

An official source at the Saudi Foreign Ministry also condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist attack. 
The source reiterated Saudi Arabia's condemnation of terrorism in all its forms, regardless of its source, and said that terrorism has no religion and no homeland. It emphasized the Kingdom's position that religions should be respected.

Saudi Arabia has repeatedly warned of racist and anti-cultural rhetoric at the national level, and has called on some governments to adopt balanced rhetoric and policies that contribute to the integration of Muslims into the societies of these countries.
Speaking in Geneva, Dr. Fahd Al-Mutairi, head of Human Rights Section at the Kingdom’s Permanent Mission to the UN office in Geneva, took the opportunity to express his deepest condolences to the victims of the terrorist attack in the Christchurch mosques.
Al-Mutairi expressed concern about some racist speeches and policies in some countries, including Australia, Iceland, New Zealand, Canada, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Britain, Norway, Denmark and Sweden.
Al-Mutairi expressed the Kingdom’s deep concern about the leniency and favoritism of some of those who support the rhetoric of extremism, hatred and violence, as “there are those who welcome these despicable speeches in some parliaments of these countries, while welcoming the pretext of freedom of opinion and expression.
“We call on these countries to pass laws that limit racism against Muslims,” he added.
UAE
Anwar Gargash, the UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, tweeted “heartfelt condolences” to New Zealand on Friday.
Gargash wrote: “Our collective work against violence & hate must continue with renewed vigor. Our thoughts & prayers are with the families of the victims.”

Kuwait

Kuwait supports New Zealand and all measures it takes to maintain its security and the safety of its citizens and residents on its territory, the Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry said. 

Oman

The sultanate affirmed its firm stance of rejecting all forms of violence, terrorism, hatred and racism against innocent people, and expressed its sincere condolences to the families of the victims. 

Turkey
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman condemned what he called a “racist and fascist” attack.
“This attack shows the point which hostility to Islam and enmity to Muslims has reached,” Ibrahim Kalin wrote on Twitter.
“We have seen many times Islamophobic discourse against Islam and Muslims turning into a perverse and murderous ideology. The world must raise its voice against such discourse and must say stop to Islamophobic fascist terrorism,” he said.

Jordan

Jordanian State Minister for Media Affairs Jumana Gneimat emphasized the country’s “rejection of terrorism and the assault of those living in peace and places of worship.”

Egypt

Egypt condemned the terror attack in New Zealand and demanded that the names of victims be disclosed immediately.  

Saudi Arabia’s Council of Senior Scholars

Saudi Arabia’s Council of Senior Scholars strongly condemned on Friday the horrific incident that targeted worshippers in two mosques in New Zealand, resulting in dozens of people being killed and injured. 

It called on “the world, its organisations and institutions to criminalise racist speech as soon as possible because it nourishes extremism and terrorism, and leads to such brutal terrorist incidents.”

The council also emphasized that hate speech should be fought because it does not serve peace and security which is what the world wants. 

Al-Azhar Mosque

The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb condemned the terrorist attack on mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Al-Azhar warned in a statement that the attack is a serious indicator of the consequences of the escalation of hate speech, xenophobia and the spread of Islamophobia in many European countries, stressing the need not to tolerate the racist groups committing such abhorrent acts.

Muslim World League

The Muslim World League expressed its deep sorrow and condemnation at the terrorist operation that claimed dozens of lives and injuries in some mosques in New Zealand, which clearly reflected one of the worst forms of inciting hatred in a world that is most in need of circumventing the values of love, harmony and peace.
The Secretary-General and Chairman of the World Council of Muslim Scholars, Sheikh Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, said that this barbaric work is added to the parallel models of the acts of Daesh and Al-Qaeda. The league always emphasizes the importance of tackling extremism and counter-extremism. In particular, the enactment of legislation that prevents all forms of incitement of hatred, including religious and ethnic contempt.
The Secretary-General of the Association confirmed his confidence in the New Zealand government to bring those involved in this crime to justice and to prosecute them as terrorists.

Arab League 

The Arab League strongly condemned the terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.   

United Nations 

The Secretary-General of the UN Antonio Guterres is appalled by the terror attacks in New Zealand and said there is an urgent need to work better globally to tackle Islamophobia, a spokesman said. 

Egypt's Coptic Church

Egypt's Coptic Church condemned the terrorist attack on two mosques in New Zealand. 

Morocco

Morocco strongly condemned the terrorist attack on two mosques in New Zealand.
Indonesia
“Indonesia strongly condemns this shooting act, especially at a place of worship while a Friday prayer was ongoing,” Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said in a statement.
She was earlier cited by media as saying six Indonesians had been inside the mosque when the attack occurred, with three managing to escape and three unaccounted for.
Indonesia’s ambassador to New Zealand, Tantowi Yahya, told Reuters inquiries were being made as to whether Indonesians were caught up in the attack. There are 331 Indonesians in Christchurch, including 134 students, the foreign ministry said.
Malaysia
In Muslim-majority Malaysia, Anwar Ibrahim, the leader of the biggest party in its ruling coalition, said one Malaysian had been wounded in the attack he described as a “black tragedy facing humanity and universal peace.”
“I am deeply saddened by this uncivilized act, which goes against humanistic values and took the lives of civilians,” he said in a statement.
“We extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to the families of the victims and the people of New Zealand.” 

The Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said that “I hope New Zealand will arrest these terrorists and do the necessary under the law of the country.”

Iran
Iranian state TV Friday said a spokesman of the foreign ministry, Bahram Ghasemi, condemned the shootings as a “terrorist attack.”
Iran’s ambassador to New Zealand, Jalaleddin Namini, told Iranian state TV that there were no Iranian nationals among those killed or wounded. However, Namini said he is still waiting for a confirmed list of the victims. 
Afghanistan
Afghanistan’s ambassador to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, Wahidullah Waissi, said on Twitter three Afghans had been wounded.
“My thoughts are with the family of Afghan origin who’ve been shot and killed at this heinous incident.”
Pakistan
Pakistan’s foreign ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal condemned the incident on social media, using the hashtag #pakistanagainstterror.

Bangladesh

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has sent a message to her New Zealand counterpart, Jacinda Ardern, expressing her “deep shock” and condemnation of the attacks on two mosques in Christchurch.
Hasina’s press wing said the prime minister reached out to Ardern on Friday.
An international cricket match between New Zealand and Bangladesh has been canceled after players from the visiting team narrowly avoided a mass shooting at one of the mosques.
Bangladesh’s cricket board president says the team is safe in a locked hotel in Christchurch.

More on New Zealand attacks: At least 49 killed as gunman livestreams New Zealand mosque ‘terrorist attacks’

Meanwhile, other world leaders have also reacted to the terrorist attack, which New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described as “one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”

United States

US President Donald Trump is expressing “warmest sympathy and best wishes” to the people of New Zealand after “the horrible massacre in the Mosques.”
Trump tweeted Friday as the White House issued a statement condemning the attacks at two mosques.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders described the attack as a “vicious act of hate.” She says the US stands in “solidarity” with the people of New Zealand.

Trump tweeted that “innocent people have so senselessly died” and added: “The US stands by New Zealand for anything we can do. God bless all!“

Russia
“An attack against peaceful people gathering for prayer is shocking in its cruelty and cynicism,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said.
“I hope that those involved will be severely punished,” he said in a message to Arden.

European Union
“Harrowing news from New Zealand overnight” said EU Council president Donald Tusk. “The brutal attack... will never diminish the tolerance and decency that New Zealand is famous for.”

“The European Union will always stand with New Zealand and against those who heinously want to destroy our societies and our way of life,” the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said.

United Kingdom

Queen Elizabeth II said she's “deeply saddened” by the “appalling” terrorist attacks.

“I have been deeply saddened by the appalling events in Christchurch... At this tragic time, my thoughts and prayers are with all New Zealanders,” she said in a message.
“Prince Philip and I send our condolences to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives,” she said, paying tribute to emergency workers and volunteers providing support to the injured.

British Prime Minister Theresa May offered her deepest condolences “after the horrifying terrorist attack in Christchurch. My thoughts are with all of those affected by this sickening act of violence.”

Norway

The prime minister of Norway, which saw 77 people killed in a far-right attack eight years ago, has expressed solidarity with New Zealand after deadly attacks on two mosques.
Erna Solberg told Norwegian broadcaster NRK that “although it is across the globe, this is a strong reminder of how important it is for all of us to help bring down tensions, work against extremism, and that we show solidarity with each other when something like that happens.”
“This looks like it is a terrorist attack from the extreme right against immigrants and refugees,” Solberg said, adding it is “a reminder that we have to fight extremism in all forms.”

Germany
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said his country was “profoundly affected by the brutal crimes in Christchurch.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has sent a telegram to the prime minister of New Zealand, expressing her condolences.
“It is a perfidious attack on worshippers and their houses of prayer,” Merkel said Friday. “The attack on Muslim citizens is also an attack on New Zealand’s democracy and its open and tolerant society. We share these values and thus also the horror of the New Zealanders.”

Spain
Spanish Premier Pedro Sanchez said his thoughts were with the victims, families and government of New Zealand after terrorist attacks by “fanatics and extremists who want to destroy our societies.”

Italy

Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte has sent his condolences to the victims of the mosque attacks in New Zealand that left 49 dead.
Conte on Friday called the attacks “dreadful,” noting that the victims were “hit while they were in a place of prayer. All forms of intolerance, hatred and violence are inacceptable.”

France

France is increasing security measures at mosques and other religious sites after the deadly attack against two mosques in New Zealand.
French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner tweeted Friday that he ordered regional prefects to send patrols and reinforce surveillance of places of worship “as a precaution.”
French President Emmanuel Macron, also in a tweet, denounced the “odious crimes against the mosques in New Zealand” and said that France will work with international partners to fight terrorism.

“France stands against any form of extremism,” the country’s president Emmanuel Macron said.  
The rector of the Grand Mosque of Paris condemned the attack in Christchurch, which left at least 49 dead.
France is home to western Europe’s largest Muslim community. While French Muslim and Jewish sites are sporadically targeted by vandals, France has not seen a major attack on mosques of the kind that targeted New Zealand.

Sweden

Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom has tweeted that she was “shocked by the attack in Christchurch,” saying “we condemn terrorism in all forms.”
Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen also commented that “extremism has again shown its ugly face.”
Denmark’s Jewish community, which was targeted in a February 2015 attack where a guard was shot and killed, also expressed “shock” at the news of the New Zealand attack.

Hungary

Hungary’s president has sent a telegram to New Zealand’s governor-general expressing all Hungarians’ condolences to the families and friends of the victims’ in the “ruthless attack” against the two Christchurch mosques.
President Janos Ader said he was “deeply shocked” by the news and wished the injured a speedy and full recovery.
Ader said that “in these difficult hours, we all express our sympathies with those who mourn their loved ones lost in this pointless terror attack.”

Japan

Japan’s top government spokesman has offered his condolences to the victims of mosque attacks in New Zealand and says Japan stands by the people of that country.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, in a regular news conference Friday, expressed “heartfelt condolences” to the shooting victims and their families, while extending sympathy for the injured.
Suga expressed “solidarity with the people of New Zealand.”
Japan’s Foreign Ministry issued an emergency safety advisory to Japanese nationals in the area, urging them to stay indoors and follow instructions from the local authorities.
The ministry also advised the Japanese in Christchurch to closely monitor local news “to secure your own safety.”
So far no Japanese have been affected by the attacks

Pope Francis

Pope Francis is denouncing the "senseless acts of violence" in the Christchurch mosque shootings and is praying for the Muslim community and all New Zealanders.
In a telegram of condolences Friday, Francis offered his solidarity and prayers to the injured and those who are mourning lost loved ones, and noted that it was a particularly difficult time for security and emergency personnel.
He said he was "deeply saddened to learn of the injury and loss of life cause by the senseless acts of violence at two mosques in Christchurch, and he assures all New Zealanders, and in particular the Muslim community, of his heartfelt solidarity in the wake of these attacks."
The message sent by the Vatican secretary of state ended by saying: "Commending those who have died to the loving mercy of Almighty God, Pope Francis invokes the divine blessings of comfort and strength upon the nation."


Global virus death toll passes 1.5 million as nations plan for vaccine

Updated 04 December 2020

Global virus death toll passes 1.5 million as nations plan for vaccine

Global virus death toll passes 1.5 million as nations plan for vaccine
  • US registers record of more than 210,000 new Covid cases in 24 hours
  • UN chief warns that even if vaccines are quickly approved, the world would still be fighting the pandemic’s aftershocks

WASHINGTON: The world passed the grim milestone of 1.5 million coronavirus deaths on Thursday, as several nations planned to deliver much hoped-for vaccines early next year to break the cycle of lockdowns and restrictions.

The total number of cases worldwide jumped to 65,127,355, according to the John Hopkins University of Medicine's coronavirus monitoring center.

US President-elect Joe Biden said that on his first day in office he would ask Americans to wear masks for 100 days to help reduce transmission of the virus that is again surging in the country with the world’s highest number of deaths and infections.
“I’m going to ask the public for 100 days to mask. Just 100 days to mask — not forever,” Biden said in excerpts of an interview to be broadcast on CNN later Thursday.
But even as the latest positive news about a vaccine was announced, with the Moderna candidate showing it confers immunity for at least three months, several countries marked new Covid-19 records.
The US, for instance, posted an all-time high of more than 210,000 new cases in a 24-hour stretch to Thursday evening, meanwhile notching more than 2,900 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.
And Italy registered 993 deaths, topping its previous record of 969 earlier in the year when it was the first European country to be affected by the pandemic.

To build trust in vaccines after they are approved, the 78-year-old Biden said he was willing to be vaccinated in public — following up on similar commitments from former US presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
Biden also used the interview to say he had asked the government’s top infectious disease specialist Anthony Fauci to join his Covid team and serve as a chief medical adviser.
But in a sign of the difficult work ahead, California announced new statewide bans on gatherings and non-essential activities, as hospitals in the nation’s most populous state face being overwhelmed.

The pandemic is showing little sign of slowing, with more than 10,000 new deaths recorded worldwide every day since November 24 — a rate never reached before, according to an AFP tally.
As the world tires of economically crippling restrictions, attention has turned to the race for a vaccine.
Britain on Wednesday became the first Western country to approve a Covid-19 vaccine for general use, piling pressure on other countries to swiftly follow suit.
But Fauci said Britain “rushed” its approval process.
“In all fairness to so many of my UK friends, you know, they kind of ran around the corner of the marathon and joined it in the last mile,” he told CBS news.
He later walked back his comments, saying he had “a great deal of confidence in what the UK does both scientifically and from a regulator standpoint.”
Also on Thursday, a study showed that the Moderna vaccine, which was recently demonstrated to have 94 percent efficacy, causes the immune system to produce potent antibodies that endure for at least three months.
In anticipation of such vaccines being approved, France announced that its vaccinations will be free and begin in January for one million elderly in retirement homes, February for 14 million at-risk people and spring for the rest of the population.
France was also mourning the latest high-profile figure to succumb to Covid-19, former French president Valery Giscard d’Estaing, who died at the age of 94.
Belgium’s government also said it intends to start vaccinating its most vulnerable in January.
But the raised hopes didn’t only garner the attention of governments — IBM said Thursday that hackers are targeting the Covid-19 vaccine supply chain.
The tech giant said it was “unclear” if a series of cyberattacks it uncovered against companies involved in the effort to distribute doses around the world had been successful.
IBM could not identify who was behind the attacks, but said that the precision of the operation signals “the potential hallmarks of nation-state tradecraft.”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that even if vaccines are quickly approved, the world would still be fighting the pandemic’s aftershocks.
“Let’s not fool ourselves. A vaccine cannot undo damage that will stretch across years, even decades to come,” Guterres said while opening a special UN summit on the virus.
Guterres reiterated his call that vaccines be considered a “global public good” that are shared around the world.
More than 180 countries have joined Covax, a global collaboration initiative by the World Health Organization to work with manufacturers to distribute vaccines equitably.
A reminder of the pandemic’s society-altering effects came again Thursday with a landmark announcement from Warner Bros. studio, which said it will release its entire 2021 slate of movies on HBO Max streaming and in theaters simultaneously.
But some British football supporters were given a reminder of pre-pandemic days as Arsenal welcomed a crowd of 2,000 for Thursday’s Europa League win over Rapid Vienna.
It was the first time in 270 days that fans were back inside a Premier League ground.