Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has branded the suspected New Zealand mosque shooter as ‘scum’ and said Islamophobia ‘is taking over the West like cancer’.
Erdogan made the comments at an election rally on Friday where he revealed three Turkish citizens were injured in the attacks – and he had spoken to one of them.
The 65-year-old politician said the suspect was ‘impertinent, immoral, vile and scum’ and said he had chosen innocent worshippers as an easy target.
Turkey’s President Erdogan said the New Zealand mosque shooter was ‘scum’ after he left three Turkish nationals injured in the attack on Friday
He said: ‘As Muslims, we will never bow our heads, but we will never fall to the level of these vile people.’
He went on to label the attacks the ‘latest example of rising racism and Islamophobia.’
Speaking at the funeral of a former minister, Erdogan said the Islamophobia that motivated the attacks ‘has rapidly started to take over Western communities like a cancer.’
Speaking at an address to the supporters of his ruling Justice and Development Party during a rally in Gaziantep, Turkey, Erdogan called on Western nations to rapidly take measures to curb rising racism against Islam and Muslims
Police console a man outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, after people were killed in a mass shooting in the New Zealand city of Christchurch. Police urge people to stay indoors
Ramzan Ali is thought to be the last man to get out of the Masjd Al Noor Mosque alive. He waits in front of the mosque as he waits for news about his brother who was with him
The Masjid Al Noor Mosque on Deans Avenue was the scene of the mass shooting, in Christchurch. At least one gunman opened fire at around 1:40pm local time after walking into the mosque
Armed police maintain a presence outside the Masijd Ayesha Mosque in Manurewa in Auckland. Four people are in custody following the shootings at two mosques in Christchurch
World leaders expressed condolences and condemnation following the deadly attacks on mosques in New Zealand, while Muslim leaders said the mass shooting was evidence of a rising tide of violent Islamophobia.
In a tweet, U.S. President Donald Trump sent ‘warmest sympathy and best wishes’ to the people of New Zealand.
He wrote that ’49 innocent people have so senselessly died, with so many more seriously injured. The U.S. stands by New Zealand for anything we can do. God bless all!’
Police speak to witnesses following the shooting at the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch. The deaths happened at Al Noor mosque and the Linwood Masjid
A parent waits at the front of at Beckenham Te Kura o Puroto primary school in Christchurch. Schools across Christchurch were put in lockdown following shooting attacks on two mosques in the city
New Zealand police said at least 49 people were killed Friday at two mosques in the picturesque South Island city of Christchurch.
More than 20 were seriously wounded in what Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called a ‘terrorist attack.’
One man was arrested and charged with murder in what appeared to be a carefully planned racist attack.
Police also defused explosive devices in a car.
Witnesses are escorted away from a mosque in central Christchurch. New Zealand police have warned people to stay indoors as they tried to determine if more than one gunman was involved
Shocked family members of men thought to be in the mosque at the time of the shooting stand outside the Masjid Al Noor
And two other people were being held in custody and police were trying to determine how they might be involved.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan echoed Erdogan’s comments.
He tweeted: ‘I blame these increasing terror attacks on the current Islamophobia post-9/11 where Islam & 1.3 bn Muslims have collectively been blamed for any act of terror by a Muslim.’
The secretary-general of the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Youssef al-Othaimeen, said in a statement that the attack ‘served as a further warning on the obvious dangers of hate, intolerance, and Islamophobia.’
Armed Offenders Squad push back members of the public following the shooting at the Masjid Al Noor
Police cordon off Deans Avenue in front of the Masjd Al Noor Mosque after 49 people were confirmed dead in the shooting
Queen Elizabeth II, who is New Zealand’s head of state, said in a message to the country she was ‘deeply saddened by the appalling events in Christchurch’ and sent condolences to families and friends of victims. The queen also paid tribute to emergency services and volunteers supporting the injured.
‘At this tragic time, my thoughts and prayers are with all New Zealanders,’ she said.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker tweeted that he learned of the attack ‘with horror and profound sadness.’
He wrote: ‘The European Union will always stand with #NewZealand and against those who heinously want to destroy our societies and our way of life.’
In France, home to western Europe’s largest Muslim community, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner ordered regional authorities to bolster security at mosques as a precaution.
People wait outside a mosque in central Christchurch after a terrorist entered Al Noor mosque and the Linwood Masjid and opened fire
The area in front of the Masjid al Noor mosque was cordoned off by police after the shooting by an Australian extremist
London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, said the city’s Metropolitan Police force would be visible outside mosques.
‘London stands with the people of Christchurch in the face of this horrific terror attack,’ he said. ‘London will always celebrate the diversity that some seek to destroy.’
Mayor Bill de Blasio said New York City is providing extra security for Muslim community centers and mosques. He said he wants the city’s Muslims to know that New Yorkers ‘truly embrace’ them and ‘have their backs.’
Indonesia’s president Joko Widodo condemned the attacks, in which an Indonesian father and son were among those wounded.
An injured person is loaded in an ambulance following the shooting which caused multiple fatalities and injuries at the Masjid Al Noor on Deans Avenue
A man reacts as he speaks on a mobile phone near a mosque in central Christchurch. Multiple people were killed at the two mosques which were full of people attending Friday prayers
Indonesian Muslim leaders expressed anger at the shooting rampage while urging Muslims to show restraint.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said bigotry in Western countries contributed to the attacks on Muslims in New Zealand.
In a tweet on Friday, he also criticized the West for ‘defending demonization of Muslims as `freedom of expression.”
Afghanistan’s Taliban movement – Islamic militants who carry out near-daily attacks on Afghan security forces – also condemned the shooting rampage, labeling it an ‘unforgivable crime.’
Taliban spokesman Qari Mohammad Yusuf called on the New Zealand government to investigate ‘the root cause of such terrorism and hand a hefty punishment to the attackers.’
Police cordon off the area in front of the Masjid al Noor mosque after the attack in Christchurch. The culprit livestreamed the assault online
Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group, which is considered a terrorist organization by Western countries, condemned the ‘policy of hatred that the United States is feeding around the world instead of prevailing religious values that call for forgiveness.’
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the attacks a ‘brazen act of terror.’ His office said on Twitter that Israel mourns the murder of innocent worshippers, condemns the assault and sends its condolences to bereaved families.
Jordan’s King Abdullah II tweeted that ‘the heinous massacre against Muslims praying in peace in New Zealand is an appalling terrorist crime.
It unites us against extremism, hatred and terrorism, which knows no religion.’ Jordan’s Foreign Ministry confirmed that one Jordanian was killed and five wounded in the attack.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas extended his country’s sympathies to those who lost loved ones, saying ‘if people are murdered solely because of their religion, that is an attack on all of us.’
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe condemned the ‘dastardly terrorist attack’ and offered his condolences, as did several other world leaders.
A telegram of condolences sent by the Vatican on behalf of Pope Francis said he was ‘deeply saddened to learn of the injury and loss of life’ caused by the ‘senseless acts of violence’ in Christchurch.
He assured all New Zealanders, and in particular the Muslim community, of his ‘heartfelt solidarity’.
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