Call for Muslim Action Over NZ Terror Attacks

Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif strongly condemned the Friday terrorist attacks on New Zealand mosques, calling for appropriate reaction to the “horrific crime” by Muslim countries. 
In a telephone conversation with Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkish foreign minister who currently serves as the rotating president of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Zarif proposed an emergency OIC meeting at the level of top authorities or foreign ministers to discuss ways of withstanding such deadly assaults on Muslims, IRNA reported.   
On Friday, a gunman shot dead 49 people and wounded more than 40 at two New Zealand mosques, broadcasting footage of the attack on one mosque live on Facebook. 
He had earlier published a “manifesto” in which he denounced immigrants, calling them “invaders”.
Three people connected with the crime were taken into custody on Saturday, including Australian Brenton Harrison Tarrant, a suspected white supremacist, who is charged with murder.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it was the worst-ever mass killing in New Zealand, calling it an assault on the nation’s values. 
“This can now only be described as a terrorist attack,” she said.
Zarif said on Twitter that Iranians are “shocked and saddened” but 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,” he tweeted, using the hashtag #EndIslamophobiaNow. 
He also said the tragic incident is the outcome of “impunity in western ‘democracies’ to promote bigotry”.
“Western hypocrisy of defending demonization of Muslims as ‘freedom of expression’ MUST end.” 
The assaults provoked reaction from world leaders, especially from Muslim countries, who largely blamed western-incited Islamophobia. 
Cavusoglu said the attack was a deliberate demonizing of rightful Muslim political struggles.
“Not only the perpetrators, but also politicians & media that fuel the already escalated Islamophobia and hate in the West, are equally responsible for this heinous attack,” he wrote on Twitter.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan also wrote on his Twitter account, “This has been done deliberately to also demonize legitimate Muslim political struggles.”



Iran’s Response

President Hassan Rouhani released a statement in which he condemned the terrorist and racist attack on Muslim worshippers as “a painful and savage act”, offering sympathy to the families of the victims and condolences to Muslims worldwide. 
“[The incident] is another sign of the need to stand up to terrorism and [moves to] stoke hatred against religions and ethnic groups as well as the widespread Islamophobia in the West,” the statement read. 
He added that the crime indicated that terrorism is still a major global issue that requires collective action and a similar approach by all countries. 
Rouhani also censured the “unprofessional and inhumane” news coverage of the attack by western media, saying it signifies their racist attitude and their “double standard even toward people’s lives”.
Some western media have refused to denounce it as a terrorist attack, using a language that implies such violence results from Muslim extremism. 
Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani also extended sympathy to his New Zealand counterpart, parliamentarians and the government and people of the Southwest Pacific country in a statement on Friday. 
“These criminal acts once again demonstrate the need for the alertness and cooperation of all countries to combat terrorism and the fact that true peace and calm will not be established in any region of the world unless the ideological root causes of terrorism are eliminated,” he said in his letter. 
Larijani also expressed Iran’s readiness to engage in cooperation with the global community to find a solution for such acts of violence. 

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