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Egyptian protesters to press for President el-Sisi’s ouster

Egyptian demonstrators are expected to stage protests on Friday with Twitter hashtags and social media acounts urging people to take to the streets and peacfully demand the resignation of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. 

More than 2,000 people have been arrested since rare protests broke out in several cities last week calling on el-Sisi to step down. Thousands marched against the president’s rule after corruption allegations emerged surrounding his and his family’s lavish spending.

Security forces on Wednesday detained several prominent Egyptian intellectuals and public figures including Hassan Nafaa, a political science professor at Cairo University and a well-known columnist. 

“I have no doubt that the continuation of el-Sisi’s absolute rule will lead to disaster,” Nafaa said in a tweet on Tuesday before being taken away. “Egypt’s interest requires his departure today before tomorrow.”

Nafaa’s arrest followed the detention of Hazem Hosny, a spokesman for former army chief Sami Anan who was jailed last year for attempting to run against el-Sisi in a presidential election. Khaled Dawoud, the head of Al-Doustor Party who has been a vocal critic of the president’s policies, was also detained.

Analysts and politicians say the crackdown on critical voices reflects the government’s insecurity and vulnerability at a critical time as Egypt’s economic woes intensify for the poor and middle class.

“The arrests show the regime’s disregard for Egyptians and how terrified it is,” said Istanbul-based Ayman Nour, an opposition leader and former presidential candidate.

“But there’s more to it. Sisi is trying to send a clear message to prominent generals and politicians who might provide an alternative to him because he has run country’s economy to the ground and because of his widespread political repression.”

Nour said he expects more people will take to the streets now that “the fear barrier” has been broken down, with the government’s heavy-handed approach only fuelling people’s anger at worsening socio-economic conditions.

Corruption allegations

Though small in scale, the rare public displays of anger followed calls for action from a contractor who previously worked with the Egyptian military, Mohamed Ali. The part-time actor was able to forge close ties with members of the political establishment and top brass of the armed forces, eventually becoming an insider.

In a series of videos posted online, he admitted to benefiting from government corruption, describing how his company, Amlak, was awarded lucrative state contracts without going through the proper bidding process.

Ali said he regretted being part of the rampant corruption among the army corps and el-Sisi’s relatives, including his wife Intissar.

His description of opulent palaces and luxury hotels that he claimed to have built for el-Sisi – and for which he has yet to be paid – stood in sharp contrast to the deep poverty Egyptians currently live in.

On Twitter, hashtags such as “come out you are not alone” , “you are done Sisi”, “Sisi must go”, and “Next Friday” generated tens of thousands of tweets and retweets calling on people to take to the streets peacefully to demand that el-Sisi step aside.

Egyptian Hollywood actor Amr Waked posted in Arabic to his almost seven million followers on Thursday: “Sisi is done … it is over for him and anyone who supports him now will be making a huge mistake.”

Addressing el-Sisi directly in the tweet, Waked added, “Get smart stupid. Leave and let the people take what belongs to them.”

The decision to slash food and fuel subsidies as part of a 2016 loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in addition to the floating of the Egyptian currency, have led to a sharp increase in the price of basic commodities, hitting poor people the hardest.

By the government’s own admission, the poverty rate rose to 32.5 percent in 2018, up from 27.8 percent in 2015.

Amy Hawthorn, deputy director for research at the Project on Middle East Democracy, said this is what pushed people to protest.

“[Demonstrators] are driven by economic difficulties and alleged corruption by President el-Sisi and his inner circle,” she said.

Crushing dissent

Security forces have stepped up their presence in anticipation of more protests with policemen stopping anyone suspected of political activism. 

Even government supporters have been caught in the crackdown. In one video, an el-Sisi sympathiser is seen broadcasting a live feed from Tahrir Square, the epicentre of the 2011 protests that forced former president Hosni Mubarak to resign. The man was interrupted by police as he dismissed reports of demonstrators taking place there.

In another video posted on Twitter a police officer fires a pistol in the direction of a balcony where a woman filmed security forces chasing a group of young Egyptians. 

Since the military’s overthrow of president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, el-Sisi has overseen a broad crackdown against any dissent.

While members of the Muslim Brotherhood – of which Morsi belonged – were the main target of a heavy-handed approach to political dissent, arrests extended well beyond the group. Civil rights activists, journalists, and actors have also been targeted.

The president’s supporters have justified the measures as necessary to restore order and combat armed groups operating in the Sinai peninsula.

But in his latest video, Ali, the contractor, said the counter-terrorism narrative was a way for el-Sisi to sell himself to the world.

“To stabilise the region and impose peace, I have to combat terrorism. And to combat terrorism I need terrorists,” Ali said on Wednesday, paraphrasing the el-Sisi government’s argument to world leaders.

Source: Al Jazeera

‘Wherever America goes, terror expands’: Rouhani says US is ‘supporter of terrorism’ over sanctions & bombing Syria

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the United States has fueled terrorism in the Middle East, slamming US policies for spreading chaos and radicalism across the region.

Joining Fox’s Chris Wallace for an interview that ran on Tuesday night, Rouhani rejected any notion that Iran was on a “fanatical” quest for nuclear weapons – as his American counterpart claimed in a speech earlier in the day – and countered that Washington was instead the major troublemaker in the Middle East.

“Today, America, unfortunately, is the supporter of terrorism in our region – and wherever America has gone, terrorism has expanded in the wake,” Rouhani said, pointing to US intervention in Syria as a case-in-point.

Rouhani added that American sanctions on Iran also qualified as a form of terrorism, pointing out their ill effects on the country’s healthcare system and medicine costs. He said sanctions relief remained a hard precondition before Tehran would even consider coming to the table for talks.

“If there is a cessation to [the sanctions], then the atmosphere will change,” the president said.

Despite US President Donald Trump signaling a desire to end the American military presence in Syria, Washington continues to conduct operations there expressly against the wishes of its government. For years under the Barack Obama administration, the US also poured hundreds of millions of dollars in weapons and other aid into Syria’s rebel opposition, flooding the country with arms and prolonging the bloody conflict.

US meddling elsewhere – from North Africa to Central Asia – has also helped to blast open the floodgates of violence and extremism. After nearly two decades of war in Afghanistan, militant groups hold more territory there than ever before, launching regular attacks on US and Afghan forces. Meanwhile in Libya, fallout from the US-led NATO operation that overthrew leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 continues to tear the country apart, with multiple statelets warring for control and legitimacy.

Tensions have soared between Washington and Tehran since last year, when President Trump withdrew the United States from its end of a nuclear accord signed between Iran and world powers, and re-imposed a raft of crippling sanctions on the country’s economy. A number of incidents around the Persian Gulf – including “sabotage” on tanker vessels, the shootdown of a US spy drone, and attacks on Saudi oil infrastructure – have been pinned on Iran, holding hostilities at their current high point.

Source: RT News
Feature Image : Rosalyn Shaoul

‘Time for the world to act’: Pakistan’s Khan warns Kashmir row could spill over into new war with India

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said the ongoing dispute over Kashmir could kick off another conflict with India, and slammed the country for what he called “oppressive” policies in the contested region.

Speaking at a press conference at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Tuesday, Khan spoke in grave terms about the situation in Kashmir and warned of the chances for a new war with India, Pakistan’s longtime regional rival.

“I came out to New York only because I felt that unless we highlight what is going on in Kashmir, the world is not going to know,” the PM said, adding that the dispute over the region creates “a potential that two nuclear-armed countries could come face-to-face.”

India and Pakistan have fought two wars over Kashmir, one in 1947 soon after the partition of India, and another in 1965. Pakistan currently controls a strip of the territory on its western extremity.

In August, the Indian government moved to revoke Kashmir’s special autonomous status, dispatching thousands of soldiers to the region in preparation for unrest which was expected following the decision. While many observers have sounded the alarm over potential abuses of Kashmir’s Muslim majority, New Delhi argues the move was necessary in order to fully integrate the region into India and to bring about economic development.

Islamabad and New Delhi have traded increasingly harsh barbs since the move to rescind the region’s special status, with India accusing its rival of backing terrorist groups in the area, while Pakistan has slammed India for a “crackdown” on Kashmir’s Muslims, and for infringing on its portion of the territory.

Source: RT News

No water from Katse dam for two months – Gauteng warned to save

The department of water and sanitation on Friday called on water consumers in Gauteng to significantly cut back on their water usage due to a planned shutdown of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project tunnel system.

The system is being shut down for inspection and maintenance.

The shutdown will last for two months – the whole of October and November.

“No water transfers to the Vaal River System will be possible over this period as the tunnel will be drained for these inspections and maintenance work to be done,” the department said.ADVERTISING

The Lesotho system augments the water resources in the Vaal river system that provides water to Rand Water, Sasol, Eskom and many smaller users.

“During the inspection and maintenance work, water consumers and especially the farming community will be affected. This therefore necessitates that water users heed the call to use water with the utmost sensitivity to the limited water supply.”

No water may be taken from the Liebenbergsvlei River for any agricultural purposes between 6am on a Saturday and 6am on the following Monday, said the department.

“Water users in Gauteng are therefore requested to work co-operatively with the department by ensuring that they use water sparingly and with the greatest care. This is important so as to guarantee that as the work continues, water users are not left in need.

“… The department would like to assure Gauteng residents that contingency measures have been put in place to ensure that water supply continues uninterrupted during this period.”

A week ago, the department confirmed that Katse Dam is at an alarmingly low level due to the ongoing drought. The dam’s level was at 16.9%, with the department commenting that it was heading for “serious times”.

Source: TimesLive
Feature Image : Skypixels

Madressa closed for the term after fire damages Masjid Ul Ansaar, Lakefield

Madressa has been closed until next term at Masjid Ul Ansaar, Lakefield in the East of Gauteng.

Residents this morning woke up to a fire at the masjid

According to the Masjid executive committee, brothers responded very swiftly and put out the fire.

The committee says the causes as well as the extent of the damage is still being investigated, adding that, there is absolutely no need for any panic.

“InshaaAllaah, Salaah at the Masjid will continue.”

“However, as a security precaution, Madrasah will be closed for the term and we will Inshaa Allaah resume next term.”

Xenophobia – where are our leaders?

By Alameen Templeton

Right2Know outs Ramaphosa, Mashaba and Zwelethini as politicians who have openly fanned the hatred of immigrants that shames South Africa

President Cyril Ramaphosa and other leading politicians must shoulder responsibility for the ongoing surges in xenophobic violence that has seen shops looted, truck blazing and South Africa’s reputation in tatters.

Fingers have also been pointed at the police who critics say have largely adopted a bystander role as crudely armed mobs rampage through its most prominent cities with near-impunity.

Increasingly, voices are calling for perperators to be punished. As long as people believe they can target foreigners with impunity, the problem is not going to go away, they say.

In the last two weeks, mobs have burned and looted shops in Tshwane and Johannesburg while sporadic attacks against foreign truck drivers have occurred in many parts of the country, most recently on Monday night.

Speaking to Markaz Sahaba, Right2Know campaigner Dale McKinley said Tuesday the violence had exposed “a complete intelligence breakdown in South Africa”, with ordinary police officers unable to do much besides helping with the clean up in the wake of violence.

The organisation says leading politicians need to shoulder the blame for the rising threat of xenophobia in South Africa.

It outed Ramaphosa, Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba and Zulu king Goodwill Zwelethini as primary miscreants.

McKinley said politicians had in the mid-Nineties already started blaming immigrants and refugees for rising crime in the country. This had created a false narrative in ordinary South Africans’ minds that foreigners were to blame for their problems.

Foreigners had been blamed for a host of socials ills confronting the country – depleted healthcare facilities, drug abuse, violent crime, and joblessness.

The police themselves had been repeatedly accused by immigrant organisations of targeting foreigners and refugees for easy bribes. Hawkers in Johannesburg complain the police use regular raids against pavement businesses as a cover for stealing their goods.

Right2Know acknowledges there are many sources of the violence “but it is also clear that statements of outrage and condemnation by state officials at all levels (Cabinet, Parliament, the Gauteng Province, SAPS and Metros) fuelled the actions of ordinary citizens who interpreted those statements to be licence to take the law into their own hands. 

“Senior political leaders find an easy target in the vulnerable Africans seeking to make a new home in South Africa. 

“Indeed, there is a dangerous emerging trend of xenophobic populism that leads to attacks on foreign nationals. In 2015, Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini’s speech, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s 2019 election campaign pronouncements, the Minister of Health’s comments on the strain placed on health services by foreign migrants, and the xenophobic blaming for Johannesburg’s ill by Mayor Herman Mashaba have been followed by xenophobic attacks in different localities.

“In all these instances, even when not responding to a direct call, political populism is used as justification by instigators and perpetrators who would have been waiting for an opportunity to strike for their own reasons,” Right2Know says.

It described this weekend’s Jeppestown and Turffontein violence as a hate crime.

“These actions – which are criminal in nature – when combined with the targeting of the victims as belonging to a certain group, becomes a hate crime.

“Apartheid was the experience of being stateless and homeless within one’s home country. Today, we find South Africans showing the same hatred towards fellow Africans that we ourselves suffered not too long ago.

“As hosts of the World Conference Against Racism in 2001, we recognised xenophobia (and the local Afrophobia) as expressions of racism; in 2008 we experienced how the deep roots of internalised oppression enabled us to turn our own experience of racism and oppression into actions that discriminated against, targeted and in some cases killed other Africans living in South Africa. 

“It is an issue of national shame that xenophobic violence has become a regular and highly visible feature of South Africa’s political landscape. Outsiders have been regularly attacked, killed and their livelihoods destroyed since the dawn of democracy in 1994.”

Speaking to Markaz Sahaba, independent political analyst Ralph Mathekga said the national crisis had deep-rooted origins that could not be addressed by “the securitisation of xenophobia”.

Throwing police and soldiers at the problem would not solve matters, he said.

“Socio-economic problems cannot be solved by police and soldiers; they need socio-economic fixes and that you will find only in wider community fora, including religious and community leaders, business organisations and politicians, he said.

McKinley said research showed interventions to address xenophobia had failed “largely because of the state’s denialism”. Ramaphosa is on record as recently as two months ago denying there was any xenophobia in South Africa.

Right2Know says a combination of a lack of political will and impunity all encourage perpetrators to strike whenever it suits their interests.

Economy surprises with massive 3.1% rebound

By Alameen Templeton

South Africa shrugs off the doldrums as GDP takes off

South Africa stumped all the doomsayers in the second quarter with official figures showing the economy grew a healthy 3.1% in the three months to end-June, Stats SA said Tuesday. 

That beat most economists’ forecasts; they had expected a cumulative 2.4% rise.

But the good news has not tempered expectations of a rate cut at the Reserve Bank’s monetary policy committee meeting on September 17 to 19. The shock R2.88billion trade deficit for July continues to eat into confidence levels.

Warning lights had been flashing after the economy  shrank in the first quarter. A second, consecutive quarter of negative growth would have plunged South Africa into official recession.

But the first three months of the year saw more than 270 hours of load shedding, low investment levels, a five-month gold mining strike at Sibanye mines and a weak grape harvest. 

But Q2 data out today shows the mining sector has rebounded with growth of 14.4% – contributing a full percentage point to GDP.

The end of the Sibanye strike helped, but mining was boosted by a major rally in metal prices, particularly gold. Bullion is at its highest level in six years, while platinum leaped from below $800/oz in June to above $930.

Finance, real estate and business services rose 4.1%. Trade, catering and accommodation increased 3.9% and general government services grew 3.4%.

But the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector continued to shrink and, in the second quarter, was 4.2% smaller. Construction was down 1.6%.

Still, the economy was only 0.9% bigger in the second quarter of 2019 than a year before.  Stats SA revised the first-quarter GDP number down from -3.2% to -3.1%. 

The outlook remains bleak. Investment levels are moribund, and businesses are struggling. Purchasing managers data show weaker private sector activity with a grim outlook.

In July, the committee cut the benchmark repo rate by 25 basis points to 6.5% from 6.75% – the first cut since March 2018.

That was strictly in line with the US Fed. The South African Reserve Bank has been foreshadowing America’s interest rate movements in order to continue attracting carry trade portfolio flows into the JSE.

That boosts our trade numbers and prevents a slide into deficit and a consequent run on the rand.

‘A hamburger and my brother’

By Alameen Templeton

Kidnap victim Amy-Lee de Jager had her six-year-old girl priorities intact when she reappeared unexpectedly last night just hours after her shocking abduction.

Six-year-old kidnap victim Amy-Lee de Jager wanted just two things – a burger and her brother – when she was returned suddenly to her parents on Tuesday night.

Her abductors had dropped her off at a shopping centre close to the Vanderbijl Park police station at around 2am. They had pointed to a blue car and said it was her mothers and she must wait close by.

But her six-year-old instincts would have none of it. She was refusing to accept anything her abductors said. She wouldn’t eat the food they offered. She wouldn’t drink their water.

She small-girl stubbornness seemed to have worn them down.

They’d pulled their car into the shopping centre, it would appear, to simply get rid of her. They gave her R4 and told her to go across the road to buy some food and cold drink. But, when she refused to do that too, and crossly told them that the blue car was not her mother’s, it seemed their final reserves of patience failed and they fled into the night.

So Amy Lee did what any six-year-old girl would do in the circumstances. She started screaming.

That attracted the attention of a couple walking past. When they found out her circumstances, they ran with her to the police station as they did not own a car.

Amy Lee’s abduction had gripped the nation after she was taken when her mother was dropping her off at school.

Police launched a manhunt while her distraught parents – Wynand and Angeline de Jager – waited at the Vanderbijl Park police station for news.

Angeline’s sister, Louise Horn, said Wynand was on his way out of the police station to grab a breath of fresh air when he saw the couple walking towards him with his daughter in tow.

“He told me there was no way to describe what he felt at that moment,” Horn told News 24.

“The first thing Amy-Lee said was that she wanted a hamburger and her brother. So, they bought some burgers and came straight to my house where her little brother had spent the night,” Horn said.

The little girl was then taken to hospital, but she appeared unharmed, Horn said.

Police liaison officer Vishnu Naidoo said Amy-Lee’s disappearance and sudden reappearance were still under investigation.

Horn said no ransom was paid, although a demand for R2million had been made earlier by her abductors.

While Amy-Lee’s parents still had many questions, they were glad their little girl was home again, Horn added.


Mobs rampage through Joburg again

By Alameen Templeton

The chaos that began Sunday in Jeppestown spread to Turffontein Monday with outnumbered police standing by helplessly as mobs target foreign-owned shops.

Looting is continuing in Turffontein, Johannesburg, after overnight unrest saw police arresting 12 people during overnight chaos when rampaging mobs burned and looted several foreign-owned shops and set alight cars and buildings.

The looters are pillaging and destroying shops owned by foreign nationals.

The violence started on Sunday along Jules Street when businesses were ransacked by a mob.

A Joburg Metro Police officer was wounded in the leg by armed looters.

The police’s Mavela Masondo said many in police custody were suspected looters.

“The police are here, emergency services are here… we are still searching for other suspects that are involved or responsible for this. For us, this is criminality, nothing else. We are searching for the people responsible for all this damage.”

Desk kids

Gavin Watson’s Bosasa youth centres may have to close

By Alameen Templeton

Ten Bosasa youth development centres for children awaiting trial or battling behaviour problems may be forced to close following founder Gavin Watson’s sudden death

THE future is bleak for children, many awaiting trial, at 10 Bosasa youth development centres across the country after liquidators stepped in.

The liquidators for the company, now known as African Global Operations (AGO), have sent notices to stop rendering services at the end of October.

The centres house young people with severe behavioural challenges and many are in conflict with the law.

A letter was sent to the centres on 8 August titled: “Notice of termination of the service level agreements – and termination of employment.” It tells centre employees their last day of work will be October 31.

In the letter, liquidator Ralph Lutchman, says the centres have been operating while in liquidation and this has “placed tremendous strain on the business operations” and staff morale.

“We urge you to continue your normal duties in a professional matter until the service is terminated,” Lutchman says.

However, the national social development department says it has returned the letter with a request for a redraft outlining adequate reasons for the “termination”.

Bosasa liquidator, Cloete Murray Friday took charge at the company’s headquarters in Krugersdorp (Mogale).

The Mogale centre was the first and largest secure care centre to be privately managed in South Africa when it opened outside Krugersdorp in 1995.

Bosasa then established centres across the country between 1995 and 2012, aimed at children between the ages of 14 and 17.

An official at the De Aar centre insisted it would remain open despite news reports it would be closed this weekend.

The beleaguered facilities management and security company announced in February it was under voluntary liquidation after FNB said it would close the company’s banking facilities by February 28.

AGO and its directors have been implicated at the state capture commission corruption and bribery in exchange for state contracts.

National social development department spokesperson Lumka Oliphant said the termination letters give the October timeframe without citing reasons.

This led to a meeting between the department, the liquidators and the Master of the High Court.

“An agreement was reached that the liquidator will go back and rewrite the letters including reasons for the early termination or exit. The department is still awaiting the revised letter.”

The liquidators have as yet not commented.

Oliphant said the children remained their priority and any changes would have to be premised on “the understanding that there should be no inconvenience, disruption or compromise to the safety and well-being of the children”.

“There are retrieval plans for each province, however, it is important to note that provinces are at different levels in terms of retrieving the service from the service provider. The plans indicate what will happen when and who is going to take care of the children,” she said.

Western Cape provincial communications head Esther Lewis said the department would take over the Clanwillian and Horizon centres as of November 1.

The provincial department began preparing to take over the provided services in March 2019 after the liquidation was announced.

“This process, including recruitment of staff, is expected to be concluded in October in order to ensure the services being rendered to children in those centres are not disrupted,” Lewis said.

The Gauteng social development department said plans were in place, awaiting approval.

Mufti AK Hoosen denies “blessing political party’s campaign”

According to messages doing the rounds on social media, a politician has allegedly claimed that his party was endorsed by scholar and radio personality, Mufti Abdul Kader Hoosen.

Mufti AK, ameer at Markaz Sahaba Online Radio, says he was contacted by an individual in Cape Town who alleges that Ahmed Munzoor Shaik Emam has claimed that his campaign was blessed by himself.

“I never even heard of him, I don’t know the person,” says Mufti AK Hoosen.

Mufti AK called the move “factually incorrect and cheap politicking”.

“I told them, this is my stance for the past twenty five years, since we are allowed to vote since 1994… we tell people whoever wants to vote, you make istikharah and [if] you don’t vote, there is no sin upon you Islamically.”

“I don’t belong to any party, I don’t endorse any party and I’m actually critical of most politicians because we know what is happening in South Africa,” he clarified.

The revered scholar distanced himself from Mr Munzoor and whoever else is in support with him, saying “I have nothing to do with him, nothing to do with his party”.

Markaz Sahaba Online Staff Reporter.
Feature Image: telegraph.co.uk

Worldwide Ummah reeling as Christchurch Masaajid attack leave 49 martyred, 48 injured.

three arrested, including live-stream video of horrific shootings by gunman from Australia

By Alameen Templeton

The Ummah worldwide is reeling from a gunman’s live-streamed attack on three Masaajid in New Zealand capital Christchurch that left 49 Muslims martyred.

Forty eight others, including children, are under surgery for gunshot wounds in hospital and it is feared the number of fatalities may rise. Other injured worshippers were taken to nearby clinics.

Police have arrested three people, including the apparent gunman, who identified himself as Australian-born Brenton Tarrant.

The live-stream video shows the gunman entering a mosque on Deans Avenue, Christchurch carrying a semi-automatic weapon. He starts firing even before entering the Masjid and proceeds to mow down worshippers preparing for esha salaah. The gunman mercilessly fires repeated rounds into anyone he meets and returns to the salaat area to shoot even more before the video suddenly ends.

He or possible accomplices are believed to have then visited two other Masaajid and continued the attack.

Christchurch policy says they’ve charged a 28-year-old man, believed to be Tarrant, with murder.

Neither he nor two others in custody were on any terror watchlists. A fourth person arrested on was not related to the events, police say.
Christchurch Hospital’s 12 operating theaters are working flat out as some of the injured suffered multiple surgeries.

Anxious relatives are gathered outside Christchurch Hospital, seeking news of family members. The gunman is believed to have been arrested in a car which had explosives and guns inside.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern calls the murders – the worst in New Zealand history – as the country’s “darkest day”.

On Friday night rain was falling on lit candles, handwritten notes and flowers set against a lamppost at the police cordon just down the road from the Linwood Mosque which was also attacked.

President of the NZ Muslim Association, Ikhlaq Kashkari has thanked police and urged New Zealand to

come together at this time.

He urged all New Zealanders in nearby areas to donate blood and to stay calm and united.

“We cannot allow these types of people to divide our community,” he added.

Speaking to Markaz Sahaba Online radio, Kashkari said the ummah in Christchurch had been swamped with offers of support and help from the non-Muslim community.

Muslims had been settled in New Zealand for more than 150 years and traditionally enjoyed peaceful and cooperative relations with the wider community, he said.


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