The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) yesterday condemned vehemently the bloody attacks on two mosques in New Zealand that left 49 followers of Islam killed on Friday.
“The shootings during Friday prayers at the Masjid al-Noor and Linwood Masjid in New Zealand are condemnable, without any acceptable reason, and beyond contempt,” said the NCMF, a government agency focused on the welfare of Muslims in the Philippines.
In a Facebook post, NCMF Secretary Saidamen Pangarungan conveyed “deepest sympathies to the bereaved kin of the 49 souls who were brutally murdered while in a place of worship.”
“It goes without saying that religion and race are again being used as springboard (for) violent ideologies,” said Jun Alonto-Datu Ramos, NCMF spokesman said.
Violence happening “within the confines of a sacred placed during holy time of worship speaks of heinous nature of the attack,” Datu Ramos added.
But the NCMF officials urged the Muslim world to leave the incident for authorities to address, and refrain any form of provocative acts that could “just escalate” tension.
Malacañang earlier issued an advisory for Filipinos in New Zealand to stay in their respective residences for safety.
The New York Times said the Friday shootings at two mosques in Central Christchurch, New Zealand was a “terrorist attack that appeared to have been carried out by a white nationalist extremist who posted a racist manifesto online and streamed live video of the attacks on Facebook.”
The broadsheet said: “US) President Trump, who was cited in the (attacker’s) manifesto as a source of inspiration, told reporters he did not see white nationalism as a rising threat around the world and attributed such attacks to ‘a small group of people that have very, very serious problems.’”
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the assault as “an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence,” and promised changes in his country’s gun laws. (Ali G. Macabalang)