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Muslim leaders blame rise in Islamophobia for attacks

BRUSSELS: World leaders expressed condolences and condemnation on Friday following the deadly assaults on mosques in New Zealand, while Muslim leaders stated the mass shooting used to be proof of a rising tide of violent Islamophobia. In a tweet, US President Donald Trump despatched "warmest sympathy and best wishes" to the people of New Zealand. He wrote that "49 innocent people have so senselessly died, with so many more seriously injured. The US stands by New Zealand for anything we can do. God bless all!"

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan known as the assaults the "latest example of rising racism and Islamophobia." Speaking on the funeral of a former minister, Erdogan stated the Islamophobia that motivated the assaults "has rapidly started to take over Western communities like a cancer."

Pakistan's PM Imran Khan echoed the ones sentiments. "I blame these increasing terror attacks on the Islamophobia post-9/11 where Islam & 1.3 bn Muslims have collectively been blamed for any act of terror by a Muslim," he tweeted.

The secretary-general of the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Youssef al-Othaimeen, stated the attack "served as a further warning on the obvious dangers of hate, intolerance, and Islamophobia."

Queen Elizabeth II, who is New Zealand's head of state, stated she used to be "deeply saddened by the appalling events in Christchurch" and despatched condolences to families and pals of sufferers.

In France, internal minister Christophe Castaner ordered regional authorities to strengthen security at mosques. London's mayor, Sadiq Khan stated: "London stands with the people of Christchurch...".

Indonesia's President Joko Widodo condemned the assaults. Iran's overseas minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stated bigotry in Western nations contributed to the assaults on Muslims in New Zealand. ap

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