New Zealand’s Human Rights Commission has strongly criticised a Muslim leader for telling an anti-racism rally that Israeli spy agency Mossad was behind the Christchurch mosque attacks earlier this month.
Ahmed Bhamji, chairman of the Mt Roskill Masjid E Umar, was roundly criticised after telling a rally on Saturday that the gunman got support from Israel’s external intelligence agency.
“Do you think this guy was alone?” Bhamji asked the crowd. “I want to ask you: where did he get the funding from? I have a very, very strong suspicion that there’s some group behind him and I am not afraid to say I feel Mossad is behind this.”
Jewish-Muslim relations in New Zealand are typically strong and have been made more so by the tragedy, allegedly perpetrated by an Australian who left a white nationalist manifesto before filming himself killing worshippers.
Bhamji was rubbished by the country’s Human Rights Commission, which said: “Prejudice against Jewish people has no place in New Zealand. We must condemn racism, hate and antisemitism whenever we see it.”
Muslims in New Zealand have taken to social media to say Bhamji doesn’t represent them or their views. One said: “The Jewish community has been so forthcoming with its support. Hate speeches like that has no place here regardless of one’s position.”
Unbelievable that a community leader unashamedly blamed Israel for the Christchurch terror attack in front of 1k people, a crowd member loudly agreed, and there was no challenge to the conspiracy theory.
— David Cumin (@KiwiDaveC) March 25, 2019