03/18/2019, 16.53
BANGLADESH – NEW ZEALAND
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Bangladeshi Christians, Muslims and Hindus condemn the Christchurch mosque attacks

by Sumon Corraya

Two Bangladeshis are among the dead. Thousands of Muslims stand in front of Dhaka’s press club to protest. The bishop of Rajshahi, who harshly condemned the attack by the Australian supremacist, wishes eternal rest to the dead.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) – Christians, Muslims and Hindus in Dhaka strongly condemned Friday’s attacks against two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The carnage, carried out by Brenton Tarrant, an Australian man with supremacist and racist views, caused the death of 50 people and the wounding of at least another 48.

Several of the victims were migrants from the South and South-East Asia. Two of the dead and five of the wounded came from Bangladesh.

In yesterday’s Angelus in St Peter's Square, the Pope condemned the attack in New Zealand, calling on the faithful to "oppose hatred and violence" with "prayer and gestures of peace". In Asia, several Churches also expressed closeness to the Muslim community.

Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Shahriar Alam released the names of the Bangladeshis victims. The two dead are muezzin Abdus Samad and Hosina Ara, a homemaker who had taken her disabled husband to Friday prayer. The wounded are Lipi, Motasim, Md Omar Faruk, Shahjada Akter and Sheikh Hasan Rubel. The first two are still in critical conditions.

Meanwhile, the Bangladesh cricket team returned home yesterday. The players were supposed to play a game the day after the attack and escaped the massacre by only five minutes. They were in fact on their way to the mosque to pray.

In Dhaka, thousands of Muslims gathered yesterday in front of the National Press Club to protest against the attack.

"It is not acceptable for an attack to take place in a place of prayer in an advanced country like New Zealand,” said Mahammad Abdul Hakim, secretary of the Bangladesh Islamic Front Dhaka Unit. “We condemn the odious act against the faithful of Islam."

Speaking about the attacker’s Christian religion, he added: "We want the Christian militant to be punished. Muslims are not safe anywhere in the world.”

Christians shared the pain felt by Muslims, calling for the murderer to be punished.

"I don’t have enough words to condemn the mosque attacks,” said Mgr Gervas Rozario, bishop of Rajshahi. “My thoughts are for the victims, may they have eternal rest, and I ask for an exemplary punishment of the attacker.”

Nirmol Rozario, president of the Bangladesh Christian Association, agrees with bishop’s harsh words. "This incident comes from the devil. We condemn this shameful attack on our Muslim brothers. We hope for the healing of the wounded."

"The world is afflicted by fundamentalists,” said Palash Roy, a Hindu leader. “Religion is for the good [of people], not to show hatred. All believers, of any faith, must realise this.”

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