Jacinda Ardern Consoles Families After New Zealand Shooting
Stricken mosques seek help for 49 funerals
Nasreen Hanif, a spokeswoman for the Islamic Women’s Council of New Zealand, said the country’s Muslims were anxious for updates.
[For Muslims in New Zealand and abroad, the massacre has drawn outrage as a brazen act of hatred borne of anti-Muslim sentiment.]
Ms. Hanif said the two mosques in Christchurch had asked for help from the rest of New Zealand’s Muslims to arrange 49 funerals.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey said that three Turkish citizens were wounded in the attack; the Palestine Liberation Organization’s ambassador to New Zealand said at least one Palestinian was killed; and the group Syrian Solidarity New Zealand said on its Facebook page that “Syrian refugees, including children, have been shot today.”
A site managed by the International Committee of the Red Cross listed dozens of people who had been recorded as missing, including people from Egypt, Syria, India, Kuwait, Jordan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Somalia.
Ilhan Omar urges solidarity
Representative Ilhan Omar, one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, urged all Muslims to attend Friday Prayers and exhorted people of all faiths to join them to repudiate the white supremacist message of the New Zealand attack.
“I know there was a call for people to not go,” she told reporters after addressing a climate rally in Washington. “But I said to people that is what the terrorists want us to do. That is a win for them, and so we must face the hate and terror with love and with compassion.”
Ms. Omar also said “everyone should join us in solidarity.”
The New Zealand police force had called for mosques in the country to close.
The congresswoman, a freshman Democrat from Minnesota, has been at the center of a political tempest in the Democratic Party over remarks on Israel that critics have called anti-Semitic. She has apologized for those remarks.
Cricket team ‘saved’ by timing
Members of the Bangladesh national cricket team, in Christchurch for a match against New Zealand, were en route to Al Noor Mosque for Friday Prayer when the shooting began. They narrowly missed it.
Mohammad Isam, a journalist covering the team, reported for ESPN that at 1:52 p.m. he got a call from Tamim Iqbal Khan, one of the players.
“There’s shooting here, please save us,” Mr. Khan said, according to Mr. Isam. At first, he thought it was a prank.
“But he hangs up and calls again — this time, his voice starts to crack,” Mr. Isam wrote. “He says that I should call the police as there’s a shooting going on inside the mosque where they are about to enter.”
Mr. Isam ran toward the mosque and saw bloodied and dazed people fleeing. In the chaos, he managed to find several players, and they eventually reconvened at the hotel. The team manager, Khaled Mashud, told reporters that players were about 50 yards from the mosque.
“Had we reached even three or four minutes earlier, we probably would have been inside the mosque,” he said.
“Entire team got saved from active shooters,” Mr. Khan wrote on Twitter. Another player, Mushfiqur Rahim, tweeted that he never wanted “to see this things happen again.”