Friday, August 12th | 15 Av 5782

March 26, 2019 4:58 pm

New Zealand Mosque Chairman Accuses Mossad, ‘Zionist Business’ of Orchestrating Christchurch Shootings

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Mosque chairman Ahmed Bhamji speaks at an Auckland, New Zealand, rally for the victims of the Christchurch shootings, March 23, 2019. Photo: Twitter screenshot.

The chairman of a New Zealand mosque was caught on video telling a rally in the city of Auckland that the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad and “Zionist business” were behind the recent shooting attack on two mosques in Christchurch.

Fifty people were killed and dozens more wounded in the attacks on March 15. Australian citizen Brenton Tarrant, a white supremacist, was arrested and charged with the crime.

According to New Zealand news outlet Newshub, the Saturday rally was intended to memorialize the victims of the attacks, but at one point Ahmed Bhamji, chairman of the Mt Roskill Masjid E Umar mosque, stated, “I really want to say one thing today. Do you think this guy was alone? … I want to ask you, where did he get the funding from?”

“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,” he added.

A bystander then responds, “It’s the truth. Israel is behind this. That’s right!”

After the video of the speech was posted on Twitter, the New Zealand Jewish community quickly responded.

“These conspiracy theories are dangerous lies. They put the Jewish community at risk, at a time of heightened security concerns,” said New Zealand Jewish Council spokesperson Juliet Moses. “Conspiracy theories — particularly the idea that Jews (whether through the Jewish state or otherwise) are a malevolent controlling force in the world — are at the very core of antisemitism.”

Referring to Love Aotearoa Hate Racism, the group that organized the rally, Moses said, “It is unfortunate that they did not appear to put its anti-racism message into practice by challenging or condemning the racism in their midst.”

“We must call out hateful dehumanising language, whatever the source, target, and circumstances, and even when it is not politically expedient to do so,” she admonished.

Bhamji himself was contacted by Newshub and proved unapologetic about his remarks. “Mossad is up to all these things,” he stated. “When I talk about Mossad, why should the Jews be upset about it? Give me an answer.”

Asked for comment, Love Aotearoa Hate Racism co-founder Joe Carolan said that Bhamji was only one of many speakers, and denied believing his claims.

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