Political leaders and figures from across the world have expressed their condemnation and offered condolences in the wake of the deadly shooting at two mosques in New Zealand’s Christchurch city on Friday.
The world’s biggest Muslim-majority country, Indonesia, strongly condemned the mass shooting as authorities were checking on whether any of its citizens were victims of the attack.
“The government and the people of Indonesia convey deep condolences to the victims and their families,” Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said in a statement on Friday.
She said earlier on the same day that six Indonesians had been inside the mosque when the attack occurred, with three managing to escape and three still unaccounted for, according to an Al Jazeera news report on Friday.
Anwar Ibrahim, leader of the biggest party in Muslim-majority Malaysia ruling coalition, described the attack as a “tragedy facing humanity and universal peace.” Ibrahim said that one Malaysian had been injured in the attack.
“I am deeply saddened by this uncivilized act, which goes against humanistic values and took the lives of civilians. We extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to the families of the victims and the people of New Zealand,” he said in a statement on Friday.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan blamed the New Zealand attacks on rising Islamophobia after the September 11 attacks in 2001.
“I blame these increasing terror attacks on the current Islamophobia post 9/11 where Islam and 1.3 billion Muslims have collectively been blamed for any act of terror by a Muslim. This has been done deliberately to demonize legitimate Muslim political struggles,” Khan said on Twitter.
“We are shocked and strongly condemn the Christchurch, New Zealand, terrorist attack on mosques. This reaffirms what we have always maintained: that terrorism does not have a religion. Prayers go to the victims and their families,” he added.
Wahidullah Waissi, Afghanistan’s ambassador to Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji, said on Twitter that three Afghans had been wounded in the attack on two mosques on Friday.
“My thoughts are with the family of Afghan origin who’ve been shot and killed at this heinous incident,” Waissi said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a message to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, offering his condolences for the terrorist attack on Friday.
“This attack on civilians who gathered for prayer is shocking in its violence and cynicism. I hope that every person involved in this crime will get well-deserved punishment,” the message says.
Putin stated that Russians share the grief of those who lost their loved ones and hope for a speedy recovery to those who were wounded.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has expressed sorrow over the “citizens who were attacked and murdered out of racist hatred” in mass shootings on two mosques in New Zealand.
“We stand together against such acts of terrorism,” Merkel said through her spokesman, Steffen Seibert, on Twitter, adding that the victims had been doing nothing more than “peacefully praying in their mosque.”
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also said on Twitter: “When people are murdered solely because of their religion, this is an attack on us all. We stand united with the victims. Stay strong, New Zealand!”
First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, reacted at the terror attack targeting Muslims, saying, they are a “valued part” of Scottish society.
“Innocent people being murdered as they worship is horrific and heartbreaking. My thoughts and solidarity are with New Zealand’s Muslim community and all of its people on this dark day,” she tweeted.
“Today, at mosques across Scotland and elsewhere, Muslims will attend Friday prayers. They are a valued part of our diverse and multicultural society. It is terrorists who commit such acts that offend our values as a society. We must stand against Islamophobia and all hate,” Sturgeon added.
Confirming media reports that the gunman who mowed down Muslims in the main mosque in New Zealand’s Christchurch city was an Australian-born citizen, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said his country stood with New Zealand after the tragic attack.
“We stand here and condemn, absolutely, the attack that occurred today by an extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist. We are not just allies, we are not just partners, we are family.” Morrison said during a press conference on Friday.
49 people were killed and more than 20 were wounded in mass shootings carried out by at least one gunmen in two mosques in New Zealand during the Friday prayer. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern condemned the attack as terrorism.