As developments continue to flow in regarding the terrible shooting in the mosques in Christchurch, and the reports of multiple deaths; our thoughts and prayers go out to all our Muslim brothers and sisters, and the residents of Christchurch who have been directly and indirectly affected.
The National President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Mr Bashir Khan said: “It goes without saying that today has been one of the darkest days in the history of New Zealand. We can only imagine what the families and friends of those who have lost their lives or those who have been injured, are going through. As a community committed to peace and rejection of all forms of extremism, we stand shoulder to shoulder with all those affected, and would like to offer our full and unconditional support to them.”
Speaking on the response of the emergency services and the wider Christchurch community, Mr Bashir Khan said: “We wish to thank the New Zealand police for their response and ensuring that all mosques across the country are safe and protected following this incident. They visited our mosque immediately and have provided extensive support. We also wish to thank the Christchurch medical staff for their continued service and efforts whilst faced with a heart wrenching tragedy. The incident also showed how the Christchurch community united to help those affected by this violence. May Allah bless them all.”
Concerning specifically the Ahmadiyya community in New Zealand, Mr Bashir Khan said: “We have been inundated with messages of love and support, Members of Parliament, dignitaries, the media, Christians, Jews and people from all backgrounds. At such times, it is important to stay united and stand against all forms of extremism. For the moment we have advised all members to avoid coming to the mosque, and offer their daily prayers at home instead, praying especially for the safety and well-being of our country.”
“Though as Muslims we naturally felt somewhat threatened, we also understand that such individuals or groups [referring to the attackers] do not represent New Zealand’s community or values, just as the ‘so-called’ Muslim extremists do not represent the vast majority of Muslims. We just need to ensure that we stand united against all forms of extremism as a country.”