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MEND Statement on attacks at Mosques in New Zealand

MEND Statement on attacks at Mosques in New Zealand

Categories: Latest News

Friday March 15 2019

Words cannot express the sadness, shock, and outrage of the devastating murders at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Latest reports indicate that nearly 50 people have already been confirmed dead – Indeed to God we belong and to God we shall return. MEND expresses its support and deepest condolences to the families of all those affected by this tragedy. These atrocities are a stark reminder of the global consequences of Islamophobia and all forms of hatred which leave innocent individuals vulnerable to acts that defy humanity.

While details are still emerging, MEND encourages people to remain calm. There is a hugely distressing video circulating online of the tragedy that we advise communities not to watch or share. The aim of both the video and the actions themselves is to cause terror and panic. We must not allow the perpetrators to meet their aims. We call upon all social media companies to remove such content from their platforms.

This far-right terrorist tragedy and the associated manifesto demonstrates the need to radically reassess ways in which far-right violence is understood and tackled in security circles. Indeed, the murder of Jo Cox in 2016 and the attack at Finsbury Park in 2017 are reminders of the threat posed by far-right terrorism here in the UK that must be effectively tackled and eliminated. Meanwhile, the MEND ComRes poll in 2018 showed that 61% of the British public believe that far-right political groups are responsible for Islamophobia in the UK. MEND therefore asks the UK Government to clearly and urgently outline what it is doing to tackle far-right politically motivated violence in the UK.

In preparing for Friday prayers, Muslim communities will be concerned about the security at mosques in the UK. MEND now calls for the Government to provide the funding for security outside Mosques across the UK, as it rightly finances security outside other places of worship.

At this time, we call for people of all backgrounds and faiths to stand in solidarity with the Muslims of New Zealand against these terrorist acts. It is imperative that Governments across the world, including our own in the UK, act without delay to immediately curb, and work towards elimination of far-right extremism in our peace-loving nations.

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