MARCH 16 ― A terrible tragedy has befallen the Muslim community of Christchurch, New Zealand when a gunman mercilessly shot and killed 49 innocent worshippers and injured many others at two mosques in the city yesterday.
Ikram leaders and members are deeply saddened by this hate crime which was committed by individuals who reportedly harbour deep hatred towards Muslims and immigrants.
We extend our heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of all the victims, Malaysian and non-Malaysian alike.
Ikram welcomes the New Zealand government’s swift condemnation of the barbaric killings as an act of terrorism.
Ikram also commends the New Zealand authorities for their professionalism and efficiency in apprehending the perpetrators of this crime for them to face justice.
Ikram also urges the Malaysian government to ensure that Malaysians in New Zealand and all over the world are safe following the terror attacks on the two mosques.
This is without doubt a heinous hate crime committed by extremist and racist individuals and is not reflective of the general sentiment of the people of New Zealand nor the values of any of their religious beliefs.
Therefore, Ikram calls on everyone, everywhere to be aware and cautious of the inherent dangers of racism and extremism.
Ikram affirms its belief that this is a problem not confined or unique to any particular region or society. The world must take immediate action to stem the tide of racism and extremism.
Learning to accept diversity and differences in religion and race is at the heart of any attempt to curtail the ugly rise of religious and racial extremism everywhere including in this beloved country of ours.
* Dr Hj Mohd Parid Sheikh Ahmad is the President of Ikram.
** This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.