Christchurch Carnage: Muslim Nations Urge Measures Against Islamophobia

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Participants pose for a group photograph during an emergency meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul, to discuss the March 15 deadly attacks on two mosques in Christchurch. – New Zealand. – AFP

OIC called for countries with Muslim communities to refrain from statements, practices that associate Islam with terror.

ISTANBUL (AFP) — Muslim nations on Friday called for “genuine” measures against Islamophobia after the attack on two New Zealand mosques that killed 50 people.

Violence driven by Islamophobia requires “genuine, comprehensive and systematic measures to address this affliction,” ministers from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) said in a statement after a meeting in Istanbul.

The OIC said attacks against mosques and murders of Muslims showed the “brutal, inhumane and horrific outcomes” of hatred of Islam.

It called for countries with Muslim communities, minorities or migrants to refrain from “statements and practices that associate Islam with terror, extremism and threats” to society.

During the March 15 attacks in Christchurch, gunman Brenton Tarrant killed 50 men, women and children – the victims aged between three and 77 years old – and left dozens injured.

New Zealand on Friday reassured Muslims living in the country they would be “safe and secure” despite the deadly attacks on two mosques in Christchurch.

“Ensuring Muslim communities in New Zealand feel safe and secure is a particular focus,” New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters told the OIC. Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu praised New Zealand authorities and their “sincere solidarity messages”.

Meanwhile, the call to Friday prayers rang out across New Zealand followed by two minutes of nationwide silence to mark a week since the killings. As the call was broadcast around the country, thousands – including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and wounded survivors – stood in a park opposite the mosque where the killing began, as the nation of 4.5 million came to a standstill.

Horrified Kiwis have responded with outpourings of love, with many embracing their Muslim neighbours on Friday in moving scenes across the country.

A muezzin issued the call to Friday prayers at 1.30pm as thousands listened in Christchurch’s Hagley Park, across from the Al Noor Mosque.

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