Muslims at the Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Mosque on their religion’s day of prayer were targeted by a 28-year-old madman terrorist in Christchurch, New Zealand, yesterday. Forty-nine people were murdered and 48 were injured in this xenophobic attack on the residents of what has typically been an island free of this kind of mass shooting. The murderer, who also intended to use two improvised explosive devises, will appear in court tomorrow, while other suspects are in custody.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern didn’t waste any time calling this a terrorist attack and condemning violence against migrants and refugees. She also confirmed that the shooter was not a person of color. “This is one of New Zealand’s darkest days,” she remarked.
Those in the political realm weighed in on Twitter. Former president Barack Obama spoke out against hate: “We grieve with you and the Muslim community. All of us must stand against hatred in all its forms.” Even President Donald Trump promptly tweeted his “warmest sympathy and best wishes.” Though possibly his most grammatically correct tweet, “best wishes” might not necessarily be the best way to show a country you’re grieving with them.
This tweet offers a glimpse of the heartbreaking fallout from this attack.
This is Waseem Daraghmeh, a #Jordanian who immigrated to New Zealand 5 years ago to work there as a barber. He was shot 4 times and one of his daughters 3 times during today’s terrorist attack against the mosques in NZ. Both are in critical condition. #heartbroken 💔 pic.twitter.com/1FXLDpZaLS
— Heba (@hebabaw) March 15, 2019
There were, however, moments that indicated there is hope for humanity.
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) March 15, 2019
Celebrities offered condolences and condemnation of this tragedy as well. The actor, director, and vineyard owner Sam Neill is best known for his roles in Jurassic Park, Peaky Blinders, and The Piano. The New Zealander moved to Christchurch with his family as a child. This hit home for him. “We weep together,” he wrote.
#Christchurch.This beyond grotesque horrific white supremacist terrorist crime in OUR, YOUR little country. With love and heartbreak to the Muslim community of Aotearoa, we are with you. You are us. We are all NewZealanders. #TheyAreUs Kia kaha. We weep together.
— Sam Neill (@TwoPaddocks) March 15, 2019
Taika Waititi, the famed New Zealand filmmaker and comedian who directed Hunt for the Wilderpeople and Thor: Ragnarok, grew up in the capital city of Wellington. He also expressed his grief on Twitter.
My heart is broken. My country is weeping and so am I. I am dying knowing that this kind of hatred can happen in my homeland. All my love goes out to Christchurch, the victims, the families, the Muslim community, and all who have chosen our islands as their home. This is not us.
— Taika Waititi (@TaikaWaititi) March 15, 2019
Other politically outspoken actors offered their condolences and didn’t shy away from the fact that this attack was a result of Islamophobia. Below, Debra Messing, Alyssa Milano, and Mark Ruffalo share their thoughts.
To the Muslim community— my heart is broken by the horror & loss in New Zealand. We are with you, we see you, and we will fight white supremacy and islamaphobia until we are all free of fear. #ChristchurchMosque
— Debra Messing (@DebraMessing) March 15, 2019
No. I’m broken from this.#NZMosqueShooting
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) March 15, 2019
More heartbreaking and enraging news, my deepest sympathy to those lost in another racist bigoted killing in New Zealand
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) March 15, 2019
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