Christchurch shooting: ‘Beyond awful’, Nicola Sturgeon and world react to terror attack

Nicola Sturgeon (top right) has shown solidarity with New Zealand's PM Jacina Adern (bottom). Pictures: AP/Getty
Nicola Sturgeon (top right) has shown solidarity with New Zealand's PM Jacina Adern (bottom). Pictures: AP/Getty
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Nicola Sturgeon has joined leaders around the world in condemning the terror attacks on two mosques in New Zealand which have left 49 dead.

Scotland’s First Minister took to twitter to show solidarity with New Zealand’s muslim community after the mass shootings in Christchurch.

Ms Sturgeon tweeted: “This is beyond awful. Innocent people being murdered as they worship is horrific and heartbreaking.

READ MORE: Christchurch mosque shootings: 49 dead in ‘unprecedented’ New Zealand terror attack

“My thoughts and solidarity are with New Zealand’s Muslim community and all of its people on this dark day.

She added: “Today, at mosques across Scotland and elsewhere, Muslims will attend Friday prayers.

Police are seen in front of Christchurch Hospital during a lockdown on March 15, 2019 in Christchurch. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

Police are seen in front of Christchurch Hospital during a lockdown on March 15, 2019 in Christchurch. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

“They are a valued part of our diverse and multicultural society. It is terrorists who commit acts such as who offend our values as a society.

“We must stand against Islamaphobia and all hate.”

Prime Minister Theresa May in a tweet said: “deepest condolences to the people of New Zealand after the horrifying terrorist attack in Christchurch”.

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt also expressed his condolences. In a statement he said: “Our hearts go out to the people of New Zealand following the news of this terrible act in Christchurch.

We must stand against Islamaphobia and all hate.

Nicola Sturgeon

“New Zealand is one of the most peaceful, peace-loving and generous nations in the world.

“Your friends in the UK stand with you today in deepest sympathy.”

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison was quick to offer his nation’s ‘Kiwi cousins’ support. He said: “I’m horrified by the reports I’m following of the serious shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand. The situation is still unfolding but our thoughts and prayers are with our Kiwi cousins.
“I condemn the violent, extremist, right-wing terrorist attack that has stolen the lives of so many innocent New Zealanders as they went about their peaceful practice of worship at their mosques in Christchurch today.

“Australians stand with all New Zealanders today during this dark time where hate and violence has stolen their peace and innocence. Kia kaha (stay strong).
“New Zealand, like Australia, is home to people from all faiths, cultures and backgrounds. There is absolutely no place in either of our countries for the hatred and intolerance that has bred this extremist, terrorist violence and we condemn it.

He added: “ Out of respect and in condolence for all those killed in the terrorist attack in New Zealand, I have asked for flags to be flown at half-mast.”

Indonesia’s foreign minister Retno Marsudi said : “Indonesia strongly condemns this shooting act, especially at a place of worship while a Friday prayer was ongoing.”

Indonesia, the world’s biggest Muslim-majority country, said six nationals were inside the mosque when the attack occurred, with three managing to escape and three still unaccounted for.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned the attacks as the “latest example of rising racism and Islamophobia.”

Tweeting in English and Turkish on Friday, Mr Erdogan said: “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.”

UK-based Anti-Islamaphobia group Tell MAMA said the attack showed how “Anti-Muslim hatred is fast becoming a global issue and a binding factor for extremist far right groups”.

Iman Atta from the group said: “We are appalled to hear about the mass casualties in New Zealand.

“The killer appears to have put out a ‘manifesto’ based on white supremacist rhetoric which includes references to anti-Islamic comments.

“He mentions ‘mass immigration’ and ‘an assault on our civilisation’ and makes repeated references to his ‘white identity’.

“The killer also seems to have filmed the murders adding a further cold ruthlessness to his actions.

“We have said time and time again that far right extremism is a growing problem and we have been citing this for over six years now.

“That rhetoric is wrapped within anti-migrant and anti-Muslim sentiment.

“Anti-Muslim hatred is fast becoming a global issue and a binding factor for extremist far right groups and individuals.

“It is a threat that needs to be taken seriously”

Mohammed Shafiq of the Ramadhan Foundation said the attacks were by far right extremists “inspired by their hatred of Muslims and Islam”.

He said: “An attack on a place of worship is an attack against all faiths, I’m confident that in the days ahead you will see all communities come together.

“This sadly is not an isolated incident, for many years commentators, the media, politicians and far right extremists have dehumanised Islam and Muslims, have perpetuated the narrative that Muslims are responsible for the ‘ills of the world’ and that our lives are not worthy of defence.”

He added: “We call on Governments around the world to step up security for Mosques and Islamic Centres, the days ahead will be full of mourning and sadness but together as one human family we will prevail.”