Trinidad Express:- The Ummah T&T Muslim Lobby Group is condemning the mass shootings at two mosques full of worshippers attending Friday Juma’ah prayers in New Zealand which killed 49 people and injured a similar number, some seriously.
“This is clearly a terrorist attack perpetrated by cowards who preyed on defenseless people and were motivated by pure hate and bigotry which have no place in civilized society,” said Ummah T&T chairman Imam Rasheed Karim in response to the events in the city of Christchurch.
He praised the New Zealand authorities for quickly responding to the tragedy and arresting the alleged attacker and his accomplices including two other men and a woman who were detained. The police also defused explosive devices.
Karim called on Minister of National Security Stuart Young, and Commissioner pf Police Gary Griffith to take all necessary measures to ensure that the local Muslim community is safe and secure as they prepare to congregate for Friday prayers in mosques throughout Trinidad and Tobago.
He said both the government and the Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar should publicly denounce this extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence which apparently targeted migrants and refugees.
Karim called on local Muslims to be vigilant as they go about their business and not be lulled into a false sense of security as it is evident that there exists a seething and abhorrent strain of racism and religious intolerance of Islam and its followers.
“Imams must take extra precautions to secure their mosques and their fellow Muslims from any on-toward incidents as the price of freedom is eternal vigilance and any attack on religious freedom must be opposed wherever it takes place,” said Karim.
He said Islam is a religion of peace and its adherents throughout the world would be unanimous in calling for contemplation and prayer in this time of trial for the New Zealand Muslim community.
The Waajihatul Islaamiyyah (The Islamic Front) group is also calling on the Commissioner of Police; Gary Griffith to consider the call of all Muslims to be safe in their places of worship and to not rule out the the possiblity of “copy cats” in carrying out similar attacks in Trinidad and Tobago, especially against the backdrop of an already out of control “war” between the so called “Rasta City and Muslim City”.
Griffith was asked to dispatch at least two police officers in marked police vehicles; today, at Masjids across the country for the Jumuah Prayers, especially the Masjids that are heavily populated in order to give a sense of security and protection.