Muslims at the Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Mosque on their religion’s day of prayer were targeted by a 28-year-old madman terrorist in Christchurch, New Zealand, yesterday. Forty-nine people were murdered and 48 were injured in this xenophobic attack on the residents of what has typically been an island free of this kind of mass shooting. The murderer, who also intended to use two improvised explosive devises, will appear in court tomorrow, while other suspects are in custody.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern didn’t waste any time calling this a terrorist attack and condemning violence against migrants and refugees. She also confirmed that the shooter was not a person of color. “This is one of New Zealand’s darkest days,” she remarked.
Those in the political realm weighed in on Twitter. Former president Barack Obama spoke out against hate: “We grieve with you and the Muslim community. All of us must stand against hatred in all its forms.” Even President Donald Trump promptly tweeted his “warmest sympathy and best wishes.” Though possibly his most grammatically correct tweet, “best wishes” might not necessarily be the best way to show a country you’re grieving with them.
This tweet offers a glimpse of the heartbreaking fallout from this attack.
There were, however, moments that indicated there is hope for humanity.
Celebrities offered condolences and condemnation of this tragedy as well. The actor, director, and vineyard owner Sam Neill is best known for his roles in Jurassic Park, Peaky Blinders, and The Piano. The New Zealander moved to Christchurch with his family as a child. This hit home for him. “We weep together,” he wrote.
Taika Waititi, the famed New Zealand filmmaker and comedian who directed Hunt for the Wilderpeople and Thor: Ragnarok, grew up in the capital city of Wellington. He also expressed his grief on Twitter.
Other politically outspoken actors offered their condolences and didn’t shy away from the fact that this attack was a result of Islamophobia. Below, Debra Messing, Alyssa Milano, and Mark Ruffalo share their thoughts.