22:50 GMT08 March 2021
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    Earlier, a mosque leader unleashed a wave of condemnation in New Zealand by blaming Israel’s Mossad for the attack in Christchurch that killed 50 Muslims. Police identified the shooter as Brenton Tarrant, who prior to the attack published a “manifesto” in which he expressed anti-Muslim views.

    New Zealand Muslim community leader Mustafa Farouk has been swift to dismiss claims by the head of the country’s biggest mosque that Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency was behind the horrendous slaying of 50 Muslims at two Christchurch mosques.

    “Recent comments by an individual do not represent the views of the Muslims of New Zealand,” Farouk insisted.

    READ MORE: Mosque Leader Blames Mossad, Zionists for New Zealand Shooting Spree

    On March 23, Bhamji, chairman of the Mt. Roskill Masjid E Umar Mosque, said during a sermon: “I stand here and I say I have a very, very strong suspicion that there’s some group behind him and I am not afraid to say I feel Mossad is behind this.”

    In a united response the country’s Jewish community and national human rights institution decried the remarks, made on Saturday at a rally in Auckland organised by a group called Love Aotearoa Hate Racism and streamed live on local broadcaster Apna TV’s Facebook page.

    Speaking to a local website Newshub, New Zealand Jewish Council spokesperson Juliet Moses said: “These conspiracy theories are dangerous lies”. They put the Jewish community at risk, at a time of heightened security concerns.”

    “Conspiracy theories — particularly the idea that Jews (whether through the Jewish state or otherwise) are a malevolent controlling force in the world — are at the very core of anti-Semitism,” Moses added.

    The March 15 massacre, which Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern condemned as "a terrorist attack", was perpetrated by Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old white Australian, author of a more than 70-page anti-immigrant "manifesto" called "The Great Replacement," where he advocated for "an atmosphere of fear” against Muslims.

    Meanwhile, Jacinda Ardern’s cabinet has vowed to reform the country’s gun laws in the wake of the attack.


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