Friday, 22 March, 2019

US Offers Sympathy After New Zealand Mosque Shootings

Many dead in New Zealand mosque shooting, witness says New Zealand mosque shooting: At least 49 killed after gunmen open fire
Cassandra Castillo | 15 March, 2019, 21:40

Leaders around the world expressed disgust and sorrow at the killing of 49 people in New Zealand mosques on Friday, attacks that many blamed on the demonisation of Muslims.

According to a live stream video of the attack, the man, who is yet to be identified, could be overheard saying "hello brother" as the gunman approached the entrance of the Al Noor mosque in central Christchurch.

CNN cites a 2015 study that reported New Zealand had an adjusted rate of about 1 gun death per 100,000 people, while in 2017, the United States has an adjusted rate of 12 gun deaths per 100,000 people.

New Zealand historically has had only a handful of mass shootings events.

He added that he was not aware of other people being involved, but said: "we can not assume there are not others at large". The US stands by New Zealand for anything we can do.

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called the attack one of the country's "darkest days".

Carl DeMaio, Chairman of Reform California, said, "New Zealand has the kinds of gun control laws that liberals propose for the U.S, but laws don't ban EVIL and HATE".

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush confirmed on Friday afternoon that police had arrested four people, three men and one woman, but said he wouldn't "assume that the threat is over".

"This appalling atrocity is an assault on all of us who cherish religious freedom, tolerance, compassion and community. We stand shoulder to shoulder with our brothers and sisters in New Zealand".

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The survivors included 17 members of Bangladesh's cricket team, whose game against New Zealand on Saturday has been postponed, and a Palestinian man who fled for his life after seeing someone being shot in the head.

Prince Charles, the next in line to the throne, said he was "utterly horrified to hear of the most barbaric attacks in two mosques in Christchurch, which resulted in the cruel and tragic loss of so many people's lives". 49 innocent people have so senselessly died, with so many more seriously injured.

"My warmest sympathy and best wishes goes out to the people of New Zealand after the frightful massacre in the Mosques. They may even be refugees here", Prime Minister Ardern reportedly said.

"He [had] a big gun, and a lot of pellets, and he came through and he started shooting everyone in the mosque, like everywhere", he said. The group said everyone was welcome. "I couldn't put it into words how I'm feeling right now", Williams said.

When mainstream politicians espouse such violent and irrational ideological hatred toward Muslims, whether in Australia or the Netherlands with the likes of Geert Wilders, is it any surprise that white supremacists feel emboldened to turn to terrorism and murder? "Today is a tragedy not just for Muslims, but for all people of faith and goodwill".

Authorities in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles joined London and some French cities in stepping up security outside mosques on Friday to guard against further attacks. "We don't need to be a community that's living in perpetual fear or despair".

Officials confirm one person is in custody.

CAIR noted that there are 3,000 mosques in the USA and many American Muslims will be attending Friday prayers.

That said, the two countries are dramatically different in size, with New Zealand having a population of less than 4.8 million people while the US has an estimated 327.2 million people, but the gun violence rates are notably different when looked at with comparitive sizes.

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