NZ Islamic leaders condemn attacks

Muslims around the world have paid respects to the victims of the attacks in Paris. Photo: Reuters
Muslims around the world have paid respects to the victims of the attacks in Paris. Photo: Reuters

New Zealand's Islamic leaders have condemned the "cowardly and shocking" terrorist attacks in Paris.

At least 129 people were killed at six attack sites on Friday night (local time), including a concert hall where 112 hostages died and diners who came under machine gun fire, have sent the country into a state of national emergency. 

Prosecutors say the attacks - claimed by Islamic State as revenge for French military action in Syria and Iraq - appeared to involve a multinational team with links to the Middle East, Belgium and possibly Germany as well as home-grown French roots.

New Zealand Muslim Association president, Hazim Arafeh, said it is hard to imagine anyone else but Daesh (an Arab acronym for Islamic State) would commit such "cowardly" crimes.

"Up to now, no-one has claimed responsibility and while it hasn't been proven it's Daesh, there is no one else who seems likely to commit such a cowardly act," Mr Arafeh said.

"We 100 percent condemn any terrorist act regardless of where they are. Regardless of who is behind this, we condemn the loss of life and attacks on peaceful civilians.

"I'd just like to express how deeply shocked and stunned I am to what I've heard. I'm just following the news like everyone else."

Asif Koya, the president of the International Muslim Association of New Zealand, also denounced the tragic news - fearing widespread and indiscriminate recoil on the Islamic community.

"I'm sure Muslim's in France will be affected and I wish them well for the pressure they will come under," Mr Koya said.

"Obviously we are very saddened for all the victims and everyone affected. We condemn any act of violence."

French borders are closed and Paris has been put under curfew as 1500 military personnel patrol the streets in an attempt to restore security.

- The Herald on Sunday

Add a Comment