Christchurch shootings: World leaders saddened and angered by mosque attacks

File photo

Leaders around the world have expressed sorrow and condemnation of the killing of 49 people in the terror attack on two Christchurch mosques.

Forty-nine people have died and dozens more are being treated for injuries] following the shooting at Linwood Masjid Mosque and Masjid Al Noor Mosque.

Heads of state from Donald Trump to Angela Merkel expressed solidarity, while the Pakistan prime minister and other Muslim leaders also expressed anger at what they described as the demonisation of Muslims that fuelled such attacks.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May said: "I have been in contact this morning with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to express the UK's deepest condolences at the horrifying terrorist attack that took place at two mosques in Christchurch... The UK stands ready to support New Zealand however we can.

US President Trump described the attack as a "horrible massacre" and said the United States stood by New Zealand.

In Europe, German Chancellor Merkel mourned "with the New Zealanders for their fellow citizens who were attacked and murdered out of racist hatred while peacefully praying in their mosques".

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan tweeted that the attack was "the latest example of rising racism and Islamophobia.

Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said media outlets and politicians who "promote Islamophobia" must also share responsibility for the deadly attack.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan wrote on social media: "I blame these increasing terror attacks on the current Islamophobia post-9/11 (where) 1.3 billion Muslims have collectively been blamed for any act of terror."

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed "deep shock and sadness", adding that: "Hatred and violence have no place in diverse and democratic societies."

The Queen said she was saddened by the appalling events: "I also pay tribute to the emergency services and volunteers who are providing support to those who have been injured. At this tragic time, my thoughts and prayers are with all New Zealanders."

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said their hearts went out to families and friends of the people who lost their lives.

"This senseless attack is an affront to the people of Christchurch and New Zealand, and the broader Muslim community. It is a horrifying assault on a way of life that embodies decency, community, and friendship.

Pope Francis deplored the "senseless acts of violence". Francis said he "assures all New Zealanders, and in particular the Muslim community, of his heartfelt solidarity in the wake of these attacks".

Indian Muslims and clerics in Mumbai hold posters to condemn the shooting.

Photo: AFP

Palestinian chief peace negotiator Saeb Erekat called the attack a "consequence of racist ideologies that continue trying to promote religious wars".

Indonesian President Joko Widodo and the country's two largest Islamic organisations condemned the shootings and said: "I also would like to convey my deep condolences to those affected by this act of violence."

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said the attack brought back memories of 2011, when anti-Muslim extremist Anders Breivik killed 77 people at a youth gathering on a Norwegian island: "It shows that extremism is nurtured and that it lives in many places."

Hillary Clinton said her heart breaks for the for New Zealand and the global Muslim community. "We must continue to fight the perpetuation and normalization of Islamophobia and racism in all its forms".

Sadiq Khan, the first Muslim mayor of London, said Londoners stood shoulder to shoulder with the people of Christchurch, and also pointed the finger at those who promote religious hatred.

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