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Norwich Muslim community to hold remembrance event for New Zealand shooting victims

PUBLISHED: 08:26 22 March 2019 | UPDATED: 08:38 22 March 2019

Sirajul Islam from the Norwich Central Mosque has spoken out against hate crimes in the wake of shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand which killed 50 people. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Sirajul Islam from the Norwich Central Mosque has spoken out against hate crimes in the wake of shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand which killed 50 people. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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Norwich’s Muslim community will today stand up against racial hatred at a remembrance event for the victims of shootings at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Norwich and Norfolk Muslim Association's community centre on Dereham Road. A remembrance and solidarity event for the victims of the Christchurch shootings is being held at the centre. Picture: GoogleNorwich and Norfolk Muslim Association's community centre on Dereham Road. A remembrance and solidarity event for the victims of the Christchurch shootings is being held at the centre. Picture: Google

“These atrocities create more hate and disorder.”

This is the view of a Norfolk organisation holding an event today (Friday) to show solidarity against racial hatred following a massacre targeting Muslims in New Zealand.

The Norfolk and Norwich Muslim Association’s (NNMA) remembrance and solidarity gathering will mark one week since a self-described white supremacist gunman opened fire in two mosques in Christchurch, leaving 50 dead and dozens wounded.

Australian Brent Tarrant, 28, has been charged with murder in connection with the attacks. In an address at New Zealand’s parliament the country’s prime minister Jacinda Arden described Tarrant as a terrorist, criminal and extremist.

Protestors take part in a demonstration in central London, in solidarity with Muslim communities around the world, following the attack on mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA WireProtestors take part in a demonstration in central London, in solidarity with Muslim communities around the world, following the attack on mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Sirajul Islam, of the NNMA, said such attacks caused harm to people who have “nothing to do” with crimes committed by radical Muslim organisations such as IS (Islamic State).

He said the association’s community centre in Dereham Road has seen people visiting to both show and seek support following the shootings.

“We pray for any victim of any atrocity. We ask people who are having these ideas of hate, please don’t do it to the Muslim people because we are normal human beings, we want to get on with our lives,” he said.

“Please do not do it because you are causing more trouble to the society and targeting people who have nothing to do with it. These atrocities are not benefitting anyone, they are creating more hate and disorder in society.

“Any atrocity is painful so people are coming to show their support and solidarity.

“We hope no one thinks it could be replicated here but we need to be vigilant and we need to make people aware of what is going on.

“We need to show solidarity after an atrocity against any human being and eradicate this kind of hate crime.”

After news broke of the Christchurch attacks Mr Islam said that he had prayed for the victims.

He added: “I am really impressed by the statements made by the New Zealand prime minister and the head of police. That kind of support for people in the Muslim community is excellent.”

• The remembrance and solidarity gathering will be held at the NNMA community centre in Dereham Road at 11am on Friday.


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