New Zealand Muslims sorry after leader suggested Mossad was behind Christchurch attack

Ahmed Bhamji, reportedly the chairman of an Auckland mosque, said he believed Israeli intelligence was ‘behind it’


A Muslim organisation in New Zealand has apologised after a mosque leader suggested Israeli intelligence was behind the Christchurch massacre earlier this month.

Ahmed Bhamji, named in New Zealand media as the chairman of the Masjid e Umar mosque, was widely rebuked after telling a remembrance rally for the victims of the March 15 shooting that Mossad was “behind it”.

But the president of the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand has released a statement saying his “do not represent” New Zealand’s Muslims.

Dr Mustafa Farouk, the federation’s president, added: “At a time of national mourning when calm and patience is required our focus is on healing and sustaining the spirit of Aroha which has been evident nationwide.”

Footage emerged of Mr Bhamji at a rally earlier this week in which he said: “I will not mince words. I stand here and I say I have a very, very strong suspicion that there is some group behind him [the shooter] and I am not afraid to say I feel Mossad is behind it.”

The video, which was shared on Twitter, showed most of the crowd remaining silent but one man is heard to shout: “It’s the truth, Israel’s behind it.”

The New Zealand Jewish Council’s president Stephen Goodman told the JC that he welcomed the federation’s statement.

“The New Zealand Jewish Council is pleased that at this stressful time and with the Muslim community still grieving and coming to terms with the loss of 50 lives that they have taken the time to respond to the lone comments of one person.

“As stated we too do not believe that the ‘recent comments by an individual do not represent the views of the Muslims of New Zealand’.

“We hope to move on in a spirit of co-operation to make New Zealand a society that celebrates the diverse communities that live here.’’

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