Muslim league in Samoa mourns Christchurch terror victims

By Joyetter Feagaimaali'i 16 March 2019, 12:00AM

The Muslim league in Samoa has joined the world in mourning the death of the 49 victims in the shooting massacre at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand last Friday. 

Speaking to the Samoa Observer during an interview held inside the mosque in Vaiusu, Laulu Mohammed Daniel Stanley said they will hold a special prayer service next Friday to remember the victims. 

“They died unnecessarily and these people were bowing down to pray and terrorist comes in and shoots them from the back. It is just sad.

“We never anticipated this will happen in New Zealand, a place where no one thought such a tragic incident will occur. 

“Our condolences and now with 49 people have died and two more suffering serious conditions. Although, we have been informed by our Wellington office that police are still investigating, and they have identified four people involved in the beginning – but it could be a group. These are trained people, we have seen the video these are not actions of someone who lacks proper military training.” 

Laulu also took issue with the delay by the New Zealand Government in acknowledging that the shooting in Christchurch was an act of terrorism. 

“And it shows there is this type of hatred that is not yet come out and this will bring out the truth. 

“I hope that Muslims will regain their resilience and to continue to do what they are doing and be strong in their faith. 

“It happens in other countries, like Pakistan but it is hard to believe this could happen in New Zealand.” 

He then accused the New Zealand Government of trying to cover up the shooting by not acknowledging it as an act of terror. 

“When they didn’t use the word terrorism, they are covering for the reputation. They don’t want the word to go there are terrorists in New Zealand which can penetrate the security system of New Zealand. 

“Surprisingly the EU described this as an act of terrorism because it is,” said Mohamad. 

He commended the quick response of Samoa's Ministry of Police. 

“They came to the mosque on Friday night and asked if we needed security and they are willing to have police officers stationed around the mosque until things cool down. 

“While I am thankful, I am certain there are no terrorists in Samoa that will come after the Muslims,” said Laulu. 

The Samoa Observer contacted the Commissioner Fuiavaili’ili Egon Kiel for comments, however calls were not answered. 

When he was asked if this was an act of hatred on the Muslims community in New Zealand, Laulu disagreed. 

“New Zealand is a country that does not attract terrorists, unless a member within this mosque is wanted in other countries; then a hit man is sent to take him or her out and they will kill anyone in the way.” 

Laulu said their office in Wellington has been in contact constantly about the situation since it occurred on Friday.

When asked if he does background checks of Muslims in Samoa, Laulu said that is a given. 

“We have close to 200 Muslims here and I have rejected some Muslims with suspicious backgrounds, we don’t just accept them, we go through a massive process on such issues,” he added. 

He concluded that prayer is the answer to all the predicaments faced by the Muslims in New Zealand and all over the world. 

“I spoke with our members next Friday, we will hold a special prayer service for the people who died and there is nothing we can now. “We are praying for them and that is our best action. 

“But to consider revenge, is not Islamic. The religion of Islam is total submission to God and practice peace and now I am sure all the Muslims who had families killed in the shooting will continue to practice peace. 

“This kind of incident will discourage people from attending the prayer services to mosque, because they will feel scared. Now I think their trust will place with the Police to provide the security and peacefulness they deserve.” 

By Joyetter Feagaimaali'i 16 March 2019, 12:00AM

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