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NGOCHR condemns Christchurch terror attack

NGO Coalition on Human Rights

Towards a Fiji that respects and protects human rights


NGOCHR condemns Christchurch terror attack

18/03/19

The NGO Coalition on Human Rights (NGOCHR) is deeply saddened by the terror attack that took place in Christchurch on Friday and strongly condemns Islamophobia, all forms of violence, discrimination and terrorism.

Over 50 people lost their lives and over 40 more injured after armed terrorists attacked two mosques in Christchurch. Three of the victims have been confirmed to be from Fiji.

The NGOCHR commends the strong statements of solidarity for the Muslim Community from some leaders in our government and members of opposition. We hope that the statements are turned into action to denounce racism and xenophobia that is subtly rearing its ugly head in our communities. It is also important to recognise the terror attack as the manifestation of existing prejudice, hate and discrimination in society that is peddled by the media, politicians and in our communities. A lot more is expected from all our leaders- at the national and community levels.

“It’s everyone’s responsibility to shut down this kind of hate in all its forms, from extremism to the casual stereotypes that we promote in our every day language,” said the NGOCHR Chair Nalini Singh.


“It’s disheartening and tragic that something like this happened so close to home and in a place of worship and sanctuary. It was important for us to create a space to come together to share and express our grief,” she said.

The NGOCHR organised a candle vigil for New Zealand on Saturday, which brought together over 80 people from the community.

“As a Muslim and a human being, I was profoundly affected by this. This shouldn’t happen to anyone. The hatred of which people were killed and the use of technology made it worse for everyone. Terrorism has no religion,” FWCC Coordinator Shamima Ali said at the vigil. “The comments in light of this event were hate-filled and it frightens me. I encourage us all not to do it,” she said.

“It’s a fact that what has led to this tragedy in Christchurch has already reached our shores. In whatever roles we play, we all have the responsibility to call out and shut down Islamophobia,” shared Zakiyyah Ali, a young woman at the vigil.


“We need to call on our leaders to celebrate and educate on the importance of diversity and inclusion,” she said.

The NGOCHR reiterates that hate, extremism and violence against any community should not be tolerated.

“We stand with New Zealand, the Christchurch community and the Muslim community to condemn this act of hate and call for peace and tolerance. Fiji and the Pacific is home to people of different cultures, race and diversity and our strength is in our solidarity and acceptance of our differences to foster a thriving and peaceful society,” said NGOCHR Chair Nalini Singh.

END

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