World, Asia - Pacific

Muslims in New Zealand in state of shock

New Zealand-based Arab journalist speaks to Anadolu Agency

Alaa Abu Al-Eineen   | 15.03.2019
Muslims in New Zealand in state of shock

ISTANBUL

Muslims in New Zealand are in a state of shock after Friday's terror attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, a city on the country's east coast.

New Zealand-based Arab journalist Asma Shukr told Anadolu Agency the tragedy has not yet sunk in for Muslims in the country.

"[They] still do not believe what has happened and how these mass shootings took place, as New Zealand is a quiet country where Muslims go about their daily lives and worship in peace," she said.

To quote an example, she said she goes to university every day using public transport and faces no problem at all although she wears a hijab, unlike Muslims living in Europe and the U.S. who face racism.

"Local media outlets are in a state of shock too.

"It is a major incident given the large number of victims in a small country with only 5 million inhabitants."

She praised Turkey's strong condemnation of the attack and slammed the lack of reactions from the West.

"I have only noticed that the strong and rapid reaction came from Turkey and the New Zealand governments," she said.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan strongly condemned two deadly mosque shootings in New Zealand on Friday.

"I strongly condemn the terror attack against the Al Noor Mosque in #NewZealand and Muslim worshippers," Erdogan said on Twitter.

"On behalf of my country, I offer my condolences to the Islamic world and the people of New Zealand, who have been targeted by this deplorable act -- the latest example of rising racism and Islamophobia," he said.

At least 49 people were reportedly killed in mass shootings at the two mosques, New Zealand Police said.

Writing by Ali H. M.Abo Rezeg

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