TEHRAN (Press Shia) – The Iranian foreign minister censured western states for promoting bigotry against Islam, noting that while Iranians were “deeply shocked and saddened”, they were not surprised by the Friday massacre of Muslim people in New Zealand.
At least one gunman killed 49 people and wounded more than 40 during Friday prayers at two New Zealand mosques in the country’s worst ever-mass shooting, which Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern condemned as terrorism.
“Iranians are deeply shocked and saddened by Christchurch terror today. But we’re not surprised. Banned from travel to the US, and not allowed to abide by our faith if attending French schools, we Iranians know too well what bigotry and hatred of Islam augur,” Zarif said in a tweet on Friday.
The Australian gunman behind the massacre, identified as Brenton Tarrant, broadcast live footage on Facebook of the attack on one mosque in the city of Christchurch, mirroring the carnage played out in video games, after publishing a “manifesto” in which he denounced immigrants, calling them “invaders”.
In his manifesto, Tarrant said he saw US President Donald Trump as “symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.”
CAIR, the largest Muslim advocacy organization in the US, warned against blaming any one person for the shooter’s actions, but pointed to research showing a rise in anti-Muslim sentiment since Trump was elected.
CAIR National Executive Director Nihad said Trump needs to assure Muslims that they are protected and that he will not tolerate violence against their community.