American Jewish Committee (AJC) is appalled by the murderous assaults on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. At least 49 worshipers were killed and more than 20 seriously injured in shooting attacks at the Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Mosque during Friday morning prayers.

“Racist individuals imbued with pure hatred of Muslims have attacked normally peaceful New Zealand,” said AJC CEO David Harris. “Our hearts go out to the families of the victims of today’s unspeakable crime of mass murder.”

Harris added: “We say as loudly as we can: We stand against hate and xenophobia. We stand against racism. We stand against terrorism. We stand for mutual understanding. We stand for mutual respect. We stand for pluralism. We stand for coexistence and outreach.”

One of the attackers detained by police, a man in his 20s, has been charged with murder.  Portions of the attacks were broadcast live on social media. A manifesto railing against Muslims and immigrants also was issued.

“We in the United States have witnessed horrific attacks on houses of worship, including churches, mosques, and synagogues. No one is fully protected from violent hatemongers,” said Harris. “We are truly saddened that this same hatred has emerged so violently in New Zealand. The answer must be unity, solidarity, and linked arms against evil.”

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called the “terrorist attack” on the mosques “one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”

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