Christchurch imam suggests France copy NZs post-terror attack response

A Christchurch imam wants France’s president to take a lesson from New Zealand’s response to extremist violence.

Imam Gamal Fouda spoke out after two beheadings and the murders of three people at a Catholic church in Nice.

The attacks are abhorrent and contradict “the tolerant teachings of Islam and all good human values,” he says.

“I condemn and denounce these heinous crimes, regardless of their perpetrator’s motives or goals.”

Hate speech, including towards Muslims, is wrong, he says. It’s important to separate Islam and Muslims from the criminal acts.

Fouda who survived the March 15, 2019 Christchurch mosque shootings, is outspoken against extremism.

In the first Friday prayer in Hagley Park after the mass killings, he said:

“The terrorist tried to tear the nation apart with evil ideology but instead we have shown that New Zealand is unbreakable.”

“We are broken hearted but we are not broken.”

France’s President Emmanuel Macron is continuing to work on ridding France of Islamic extremism. This work is part of a project he labels “separatism”.

French Muslims have reportedly felt stigmatised by terror attacks and under pressure.

Fouda is also calling on President Macron and his government, and “everyone who offends Islam and the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, or any religion,” to respect Islam.

We should do this just “as we must respect all beliefs without discrimination or racism against anyone,” he says.

“This is the simplest principle of mutual respect between human beings.”

“I also call on everyone to stand against extremism and I invite the French government and people to take a lesson from what happened in Christchurch, New Zealand after the terrorist attack on the two mosques on March 15, 2019 where the citizens and the government all united together against violence and declared that the principle of love will win against hatred.”

At the same time, the Christchurch imam is calling on Muslims, especially those living in Western countries, to “combat any tendency towards extremism.”

“I reiterate that terrorism has no religion, and all Muslims are called to reject this criminal act that is not related to Islam or to the Prophet of love and mercy,” he says.

“All forms of violence and terror targeting anyone aim to destabilise security and stability and are inconsistent with all religious and human values and principles.”


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News category: New Zealand.

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