Chairman of New Zealand’s biggest mosque says Mossad was behind Christchurch massacre that left 50 people dead
- Chairman of New Zealand’s biggest mosque attended anti-racism rally Saturday
- Ahmed Bhamji gave a speech saying Mossad was behind Christchurch shooting
- Bhamji alleged that suspect Brenton Tarrant got funding from ‘Zionist business’
- Israel’s embassy condemned the remarks as ‘absurd’ and anti-Semitic
Ahmed Bhamji, who leads the Mt Roskill Masjid E Umar mosque in Auckland, made the remarks at a rally organised by Love New Zealand Hate Racism on Saturday.
During a speech, he said Israeli intelligence agency Mossad was behind the attack and accused suspect Brenton Tarrant of getting funding from ‘Zionist business’.
Ahmed Bhamji, the leader of New Zealand’s biggest mosque, has been condemned after blaming Israel’s Mossad and ‘Zionist business’ for being behind the Christchurch massacre
Bhamji told a crowd of thousands at a rally against racism that ‘I am not afraid to say I feel Mossad is behind…’ the shooting which left 50 people dead (file image)
In a video posted on Twitter, he can be heard saying: ‘I stand here and I say 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.’
While the majority of the crowd is silent, one person can be heard yelling: ‘It’s the truth. Israel is behind this. That’s right!’
The embassy of Israel in Wellington subsequently condemned his remarks, saying: ‘All the Israeli people, along with the people of New Zealand, mourned the horrendous terror massacre against Muslim worshippers in Christchurch.
‘The absurd accusation made by Bhamji is a regrettable expression of the basest anti-Semitic prejudice and we are confident that it is utterly rejected by the Muslim community leadership and by all New Zealanders.
‘At this time we want to convey again the deepest sympathy of the Israeli embassy and the state of Israel to the victims and families of the Masjid Al Noor and Linwood mosque attacks.’
Israel’s embassy in New Zealand described the claims as ‘absurd’ and said the Jewish community ‘mourned the horrendous terror massacre’ at two mosques (Al Noor mosque, pictured) earlier this month
Terror suspect Brenton Tarrant posted a manifesto online before the killings identifying himself as a racist white supremacist, but did not mention any links to Israel (file image)
The Human Rights Commission also took a stand against the remarks, saying they had ‘no place in New Zealand’.
‘We must condemn racism, hate and anti-Semitism whenever we see it’, the organisation said on Twitter.
When confronted with his remarks by Newshub, Bhamji stood by them, demanding an investigation into where the mosque shooter received funding from.
‘Mossad is up to all these things,’ he said. ‘When I talk about Mossad, why should the Jews be upset about it? Give me an answer?’
Bhamji did not provide any evidence to support his claims.
A manifesto posted online ahead of the shooting outlines the shooter’s racist, white supremacist views which he used to justify the killings.
Names and dates scrawled across the guns used during the massacre also reveal a fascination with medieval history, particularly those who fought against the Ottoman empire – the Islamic superpower of its day.
Neither the weapons nor the manifesto display any overt links to Mossad or Israel.
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