New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke eloquently in the aftermath of the horrifying shootings:
“I want to send a message to those directly affected…For many this may have not been the place they were born. For many New Zealand was their choice, a place they actively came to and committed themselves to…it was a place where many came to for their safety. A place where it was safe to practice their culture and religion.
It is being reported that the shooter had issued a white supremacist manifesto which targeted Muslims and immigrants. Almost all have been united in horror and condemnation. However Australian Senator Fraser Anning has attracted sharp criticism for suggesting that the attacks reflected “growing fear over an increasing Muslim presence” in Australian and New Zealand communities, and a string of other observations which focused blame on Muslims rather than the shooter(s).
In Christchurch the picture is still confused, although three people are reportedly in custody, and the police have asked mosques to close their doors.