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Muslims in New Zealand in the state of shock

Muslims in New Zealand in the state of shock

New Zealand-based Arab journalist speaks to Anadolu Agency.
15.03.2019 - 13:41

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 US who face racism. "Local media outlets are in a state of shock too" and "It is a major incident given the large number of victims in a small country with only 5 million inhabitants," she said.

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 added.

49 killed in terrorist attacks on New Zealand mosques WATCH


In a social media post just before the attack, an account that is believed to belong to one of the attackers posted a link to an 87-page manifesto that was filled with anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim ideas and explanations for an attack. “You can live your own homeland in peace, no one will hurt you. Right at the east side of the Bosphorus. But if you try to live beyond the west side of the Bosphorus, we would come to get your lives. We will come to Constantinople and destroy your mosques and minarets. By that, Hagia Sophia can be free all of its minarets and Constantinople can be a Christian city once and for all.”

Earlier this week, members of the European Parliament had rejected a request of a possible conversion of the Hagia Sophia into a mosque.

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