Whilst on the opposite side of the world the Christchurch murders of 49 members of Islam in their place of worship is a shocking reminder that some in the Western world are so far out of line with basic human values and human rights. We send our heartfelt condolences to all involved.
We strongly condemn this barbaric act. It is the responsibility of us all, especially our political representatives of whatever creed, belief, colour or persuasion, to be increasingly pro-active in reverting any trend towards hatred and violence. It is vital that the issue of freedom of religion or belief is at the top of the political agenda and inclusive of all faiths and beliefs, whether a predominant majority or a small minority, in any country of the world.
We acknowledge the sincerity of Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand Prime Minister’s statement that “What has happened in Christchurch is an extraordinary act of unprecedented violence. It has no place in New Zealand. Many of those affected will be members of our migrant communities – New Zealand is their home – they are us.”
We will use education, full exposure of the facts and open dialogue to end the bigotry and hate speech, showing that such mind-sets generate violent acts and terrorist ideologies.