Muslim groups demand probe into New Zealand mosque killings

An image grab from TV New Zealand taken on March 15, 2019 shows a victim arriving at a hospital following the mosque shooting in Christchurch. – At least one gunman who targeted crowded mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch killed a number of people, police said, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern describing the shooting as “one of New Zealand’s darkest days”. (Photo by TV New Zealand / TV New Zealand / AFP) / New Zealand OUT / XGTY—-EDITORS NOTE —-RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE MANDATORY CREDIT ” AFP PHOTO / TV New Zealand

Notable Muslim groups across the country have asked the international community to lunch a probe into the dastardly attack in two mosques in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand.

Although, some Nigerians that were present at the mosque were lucky to have survived the attack, the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Nasrul Lahil Fatih Society (NASFAT) and Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) condemned the brazen act of terrorism on the defenseless Muslim worshippers.

The President-General, NSCIA, and the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, totally condemned the enabling environment created by racists, supremacists and left-wing extremists that allow Islamophobia to fester all over the world.

Noting that corrosive anti-Muslim rhetoric and bigoted media reportage have led to a spike in hate-motivated and terror-induced attacks on Muslims across the world in recent years.

Citing some cases, he said: “The Imam and his associate that were killed in the US in August 2016, the murder of six Muslims at a Quebec City Mosque, Canada, in January 2017, the killing of a 58-year old Muslim after a night prayer in London in June 2017 to the recent one, among many others, many Muslims have died and are still dying because of the monstrosity of Islamophobia.

“In all those attacks and others, the religious identities of the perpetrators have always been downplayed because they were Christians. But if a criminal who happens to bear a Muslim name were involved in a crime, his religion would be dragged into it. It is such double standards and other injustices that serve as enablers of the current state of the world where victims are conveniently branded aggressors and mass murderers are labeled gunmen,” he said.

Commenting on a Nigerian Christian who goes by the name Comrade Chidi who allegedly called for the New Zealand treatment for Nigerian Muslims, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), called for the immediate arrest, detention and prosecution of Chidi for making undisguised terror threat against his fellow Nigerians. MURIC’s comments were contained in a press statement.

The Director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola, said: “This is an open and direct terror threat against Nigerian Muslims. It is a call for chaos. Chidi’s call must be seen beyond just a call. This kind of person will go for mass killing of Muslims if he has access to any automatic weapon. Unfortunately that will not prove a challenge to him because already there is a proliferation of dangerous weapons around the country particularly now that we have just concluded the 2019 general elections”.

MURIC also demanded tight security around mosques in view of the New Zealand incident. He said, “The safety of Muslims who attend mosques is attracting greater attention in security circles in civilized environments. Muslims have become endangered species around the globe and Nigerian security agencies should not be caught napping. Nowadays in America, uniformed and fully armed policemen stand by as Muslims offer Jumu’ah prayers in their mosques. Nothing stops the Nigerian police from doing the same,”

The Nasrul Lahil Fatih Society (NASFAT) also appealed for calm and restraint by the Muslim Ummah, while praying for a terror-free world.

The organization’s spokesperson, Alhaji Banji Busari described the attack as “heartless, inhuman and devastating to Muslims worldwide. Especially when it was done at a time Muslims from all walks of life gathered to observe the Friday prayers.

He said the killing no doubt “was a deliberate tragedy directed against our Muslim brothers and sisters including innocent Muslim kids.”

“This is one killing of Muslims that cannot be rationalised by right thinking decent human beings”, it observed.

Also, the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) condemns the act of terrorism.

The group, in a statement signed by Abdulazeez Oladejo, said: “We call for a thorough and painstaking probe into this gruesome and inhuman act. There is probably more to this incident than meets the eye.

“We implore all relevant authorities to carefully study the 87-page manifesto released by the perpetrator. There may be some clues into other plans. There are some missing links in the manner of execution of the attack requiring a complete overhaul of not only gun control but also issues of security of human lives and properties,” he stated.

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