Mr Khan took to Twitter to voice his anger over the sickening attack which was carried out by at least one gunman targeting worshippers during Friday prayers at mosques in Christchurch. Schools across the South Island city were on lockdown today as New Zealand’s terror level was raised to “high” in the wake of the county’s deadliest mass shooting. Mr Khan said: “I blame these increasing terror attacks on the current Islamophobia post 9/11 where Islam and 1.3 billion Muslims have collectively been blamed for any act of terror by a Muslim.
“This has been done deliberately to also demonise legitimate Muslim political struggles.”
According to the 2013 census, there are about 46,000 Muslims living in New Zealand and about 8,000 Pakistanis, predominantly Muslims, call the country their home.
Pakistan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, said his office is “trying to ascertain whether any Pakistanis have been killed in the attack” which he described as “heinous”.
Mr Khan said the sickening attack carried out by at least one gunman “reaffirms what we have always maintained: that terrorism does not have a religion”.
Dr Mohammad Faisal, spokesman for Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, wrote on Twitter that his country “condemns the tragic terrorist incident” and said the High Commission for Pakistan is in touch with New Zealand’s authorities to obtain details about the victims.
He added the hashtag #pakistanagainstterror.
The attacker is believed to have live streamed at least one of his attacks on Facebook, showing people cowering on the mosque’s floor.
Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison confirmed one of the four people arrested by New Zealand police is an Australian-born citizen.
A man in his late twenties has been charged with murder and is due to appear in court tomorrow.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said there will be a “highly visible” policing presence around the capital’s mosques today as he sought to offer reassurance to those heading to Friday prayers.
Leanne Dalziel, the mayor of Christchurch, said “our city has changed forever today” after the massacre at the Al Noor mosque and Linwood mosque.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called it “one of New Zealand’s darkest days” and said the perpetrator who carried out the appalling attack “has no place here”.
Police commissioner Mike Bush urged people to stay away from mosques and told those living in Christchurch “close your doors until you hear from us again”.