Leaders across Alberta condemn New Zealand terrorist attack

Mar 15 2019, 3:58 pm

Albertan politicians and community members are condemning the mass shootings that left 49 people dead and 48 injured at two New Zealand mosques on Friday.

Local law enforcement has charged a 28-year-old man with murder and currently have two others in custody following what New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said could “only be described as a terrorist attack,” in a release.

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The acts of violence are being condemned both at home and around the world, with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calling the attack “absolutely appalling,” and US President Donald Trump tweeting out his “warmest sympathies and best wishes” to the people of New Zealand.

Here in Alberta, Premier Rachel Notley released a statement following the attacks encouraging Albertans to stand together against racism, intolerance, hate, and religious persecution in all forms.

“On behalf of all Albertans, I offer my condolences to everyone affected by this act of terror – those who were at the mosque and Muslims around the world who mourn for the losses in their community and feel less safe today,” she said, in the release.

“Albertans stand with you – I stand with you – and our hearts embrace you. We know there is hate in the world but we can never forget that love is stronger. There are those who want to fan the flames of intolerance but that is not how Alberta was built.”

Notley’s main opposition in the coming provincial election, UCP leader Jason Kenney, also condemned the attacks in a tweet, calling the crime “unspeakable.”

“Unthinkably evil to shoot people while they pray,” he wrote, in a tweet.

“An unspeakable crime not only against human life, but also the freedom of religion. Prayers for the survivors and the loved ones of those attacked.”

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, who made history in 2010 by becoming the first Muslim mayor of a large North American city, said in a tweet following the attack that his heart was broken to hear the news of what happened in New Zealand.

“Once again, my heart breaks. Not because I am Muslim, but because I am human. But as we condemn the horrific terrorist act in New Zealand, we also must commit ourselves to fighting hatred wherever we find it. Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un. We belong to God to him we return.”

The Muslim Council of Calgary released a statement late Thursday and will be offering special prayers to the victims and their families today.

“Muslim Council of Calgary condemns all violence directed towards innocent human beings, irrespective of race, gender, religion, culture, or ethnicity,” the release states.

“We ask the Muslim community to please be patient, be vigilant, and pray for all in these testing times. This is an attack on basic human values, an act of sheer terrorism planned and executed by a group of individuals intolerant to a specific faith. We need to stand in solidarity with all to condemn this heinous attack. We will also be holding special prayers for the victims of this tragedy in Friday prayers.

“‘Inna-Lillah-e-Wa-Ilayhi-Rajaoon, we surely belong to our Lord and to Him we shall return’ Amen!”

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