Published: Sat, March 16, 2019
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Suspect In New Zealand Mosque Attack Appears In Court

Suspect In New Zealand Mosque Attack Appears In Court

People wait outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday after mass shootings in two locations.

At the Al Noor mosque, witness Len Peneha said he saw a man dressed in black and wearing a helmet with some kind of device on top enter the house of worship and then heard dozens of shots, followed by people running out in terror.

One person died in Christchurch hospital last night and staff are treating 42 patients, ranging from young children to adults, with gunshot wounds.

The faithful gathered for prayers on Friday at the Windsor Mosque, a day after a gunman killed 49 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

"We are one people in this province".

New Zealand has in the past tried to tighten firearm laws, but a strong gun lobby and culture of hunting has stymied such efforts.

The Pacific Islands Association of non-governmental Organisations (PIANGO) also expressed its "heartfelt grief and sorrow" over the attacks.

"We are happy and grateful that the police are taking preventative steps, proactively coming forward to help us ... it's more of a reassurance to the community that we're looking forward".

The site of the terrorist attacks is sealed off in Christchurch, New Zealand, on March 16, 2019. It is only further confirmation of the pernicious spread of Islamophobia and other forms of racism, emboldened by the ascent of far-right parties across the developed world and the activation of the (only barely latent) ideology of white supremacy embedded in the history and body politic of these nations.

"Fijian hearts are breaking for our brothers and sisters in New Zealand - a place where an atrocity of this nature is shocking nearly beyond comprehension".

"There is more love than hate, so it is important to find the love now", he added.

"The regulation of guns in New Zealand is categorised as restrictive", say the authors of the database. "There is no place in New Zealand for such acts of extreme and unprecedented violence", Ardern said. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said some of the victims may have been new immigrants or refugees.

He also reached out to the Muslim community in Christchurch and in New Zealand.

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Campaigners said 15,000 people took part in protests in more than 60 towns and cities across the United Kingdom in February. She said she was "with Jacinda last night" and she had asked the prime minister what she would say to the people of Nelson.

"You were quick to mention this is not the New Zealand that you know".

Rivlin wrote that the "murder of people at prayer, in their most holy and sacred place, is a depraved and despicable act".

U.S. President Donald Trump, who condemned the attack as a "horrible massacre", was praised by the accused gunman in a manifesto posted online as "a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose".

"Part of that is addressing those types of things and fears that might be present now within the Muslim community of Saskatoon", he said.

They said they were saddened by the "senseless" attacks.

Our thoughts and our prayers are with those who have been impacted today.

The police presence out the mosque in Deans Ave, Christchurch, after the shootings. Photo: Copyright 2018 The Associated Press.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the events in Christchurch represented "an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence", and that numerous victims could be migrants or refugees. In other forums, people discussed Muslim food restrictions as they prepared to drop off meals for those affected.

Huang Yan, the manager of the Christchurch branch of China's Southern Airlines, told Xinhua the mass shooting would bring negative impact on New Zealand tourism as Christchurch has just been recovered from the aftermath of the 2011 deadly natural disaster.

Gardee said there is heightened anxiety in the Muslim community.

Mass shootings, and violent crime in general, are rare in New Zealand, a country of almost 5 million people. When a school is attacked it hurts. One man tries to greet him calmly, calling out "Hello, brother".

Christchurch hospital's chief of surgery, Dr Greg Robertson, said numerous victims would require multiple surgeries.

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