New Zealand Shooting Live Updates: Attack on Christchurch Mosques Leaves 49 Dead – The New York Times
Ilhan Omar urges solidarity
Representative Ilhan Omar, one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, urged all Muslims to attend Friday Prayers and exhorted people of all faiths to join them to repudiate the white supremacist message of the New Zealand attack.
“I know there was a call for people to not go,” she told reporters after addressing a climate rally in Washington. “But I said to people that is what the terrorists want us to do. That is a win for them, and so we must face the hate and terror with love and with compassion.”
Ms. Omar also said “everyone should join us in solidarity.”
The New Zealand police force had called for mosques in the country to close.
The congresswoman, a freshman Democrat from Minnesota, has been at the center of a political tempest in the Democratic Party over remarks on Israel that critics have called anti-Semitic. She has apologized for those remarks.
Cricket team ‘saved’ by timing
Members of the Bangladesh national cricket team, in Christchurch for a match against New Zealand, were en route to Al Noor Mosque for Friday Prayer when the shooting began. They narrowly missed it.
Mohammad Isam, a journalist covering the team, reported for ESPN that at 1:52 p.m. he got a call from Tamim Iqbal Khan, one of the players.
“There’s shooting here, please save us,” Mr. Khan said, according to Mr. Isam. At first, he thought it was a prank.
“But he hangs up and calls again — this time, his voice starts to crack,” Mr. Isam wrote. “He says that I should call the police as there’s a shooting going on inside the mosque where they are about to enter.”
Mr. Isam ran toward the mosque and saw bloodied and dazed people fleeing. In the chaos, he managed to find several players, and they eventually reconvened at the hotel. The team manager, Khaled Mashud, told reporters that players were about 50 yards from the mosque.
“Had we reached even three or four minutes earlier, we probably would have been inside the mosque,” he said.