Malaysian leaders condemn New Zealand mosque attacks

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 15): Several leaders have strongly condemned the terrorist attacks on two mosques in New Zealand during Friday prayers which have left up to 49 people dead, and expressed condolences and sympathy to the families of those killed.

They are Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa, Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin, Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik, PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Malay and Islamic World (DMDI) present Tan Sri Mohd Ali Rustam.

Mujahid expressed sadness over the attacks which took place as Muslims were praying and resulted in tens of deaths.

“I express my condolences to the families of the dead and pray that the victims achieve martyrdom.

“I pray for Muslims there and elsewhere around the world to be protected by Allah from such danger and threat,” he said in a statement.

Mohamed Azmin strongly condemned the attacks and described them as terrorism against innocent people.

"I am shocked and saddened by the news of the shootings at the mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. I condemn, in the strongest terms, this terrorism against innocent people,” he said.

Zuraida also condemned what New Zealand has described as a terrorist attack and expressed the hope that the perpetrators will be brought to justice.

"My condolences to the families of the dead. Hoping for peace to return to New Zealand,” she said.

Maszlee said he hoped that all Malaysian students in New Zealand will exercise caution in the wake of the shootings.

“The Ministry will pass on the latest developments,” he tweeted.

Anwar also expressed his condolences and sympathy to the families of the dead and described the incident as uncivilised and contrary to human values.

"I strongly condemn (the attacks) and am closely following the developments. According to the New Zealand police, the situation is still grave and they are on the hunt for the perpetrators,” he said.

Mohd Ali called on the New Zealand Government to take immediate action to protect mosques and non-Muslim houses of worship in the wake of the shootings to prevent further attacks.

"DMDI strongly condemns the mass shootings. Those involved in attacking and killing people in and outside the mosques must be brought to justice immediately," he told Bernama.

News reports said the terrorist attacks on the two mosques in Christchurch during the Friday prayers left at least 49 people dead and many others injured, including two Malaysians.

In SHAH ALAM,  Selangor Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari described the shooting incidents at Al-Noor Mosque and Linwood Mosque as an assault on humanity besides seeking to create division among people of different faiths.

Amirudin in condemning the attack said in such times, voices of moderation need to stand together to denounce violence fuelled by militancy.   

"I am deeply saddened and shocked by the mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand. Extremism has no place in our society. I stand in solidarity with all New Zealanders, especially the victims and families of this vicious attack," he said in a statement.

In KUCHING, Minister of Works Baru Bian offered his condolences to the  families of the victims killed in the shootings.

He said the senseless tragedy should be a reminder to the people in Malaysia to work on maintaining and preserving racial and religious harmony among all Malaysians.

”I am shocked and saddened to hear news of the horrific shootings at the two Christchurch mosques today. This act of hate and terror in a sacred place where the victims were worshipping is a heinous crime which all right-minded people condemn strongly,” he said in a statement.

The Selangau MP said he prayed that the outpouring of love and support from peace-loving New Zealanders and global citizens will provide a small measure of comfort to them.