Arab Ambassadors in Japan Call on World Leaders to Do More After Mosque Attack

Monday, March 18, 2019

By Allison Pestotnik

Tokyo- (PanOrient News) The Arab Ambassadors and Heads of Missions Council in Tokyo responded to Friday’s mass shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand with a statement condemning the massacre and calling on world leaders to do more to counter Islamophobia.

“These acts have occurred in an environment of increasing extremism and Islamophobia worldwide, which we believe is the direct cause of such violent acts,” said the statement.

The terrorist attacks, which have so far claimed at least 50 lives, were committed by a 28-year-old Australian man who reportedly sent out a white extremist manifesto immediately beforehand.

“Sadly, persons who carry hatred and rejection in their hearts become more emboldened to act when their Islamophobic views are tolerated, supported and promoted, whether directly or indirectly, by media, public speakers, and politicians,” said the statement.

A number of right-wing politicians have been rising in popularity in recent years, often using anti-Muslim rhetoric to galvanize supporters. U.S. President Donald Trump, who banned immigration from several Muslim-majority countries and shared anti-Muslim propaganda videos on social media, serves as a prominent example.

“As Ambassadors and Heads of Missions of Arab countries we believe that the world’s political leaders need to do more to counter Islamophobia, racism, divisive speech, acts of hatred and terrorist attacks against any faith,” it continued. “The event is tragic and it is critical that we stand together as humans to oppose all acts and words of hatred, terrorism and violence directed at any group based on their religion, race or affiliations.”

The group said it appreciated the Japanese government’s prompt condemnation of the attack and valued the efforts of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Foreign Minister Taro Kono “to promote the spirit of tolerance, coexistence and understanding between all people of the world.”

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