Utahns mourn with world after tragic mass shootings in New Zealand

Ambulance staff take a man from outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday, March 15, 2019. A witness says many people have been killed in a mass shooting at a mosque in the New Zealand city of Christchurch. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

On Friday, 49 people were shot and killed at mosques in New Zealand.

One man has been charged in connection to the shootings, the Associated Press reported.

Utahns have joined the world in mourning the tragedy.

The Utah Islamic Center (UIC) says it stands with their Muslim brothers and sisters in New Zealand.

“To God we belong, and to Him is our return. We mourn the heartbreaking killings of men, women and children gathered for prayer in their houses of worship and urge leaders in our nation and worldwide to speak out forcefully against the growing anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant hate that appears to have motivated these white supremacist terrorists.
In the wake of this tragedy, we urge mosques, Islamic schools and other community institutions in the United States and around the world to take stepped-up security precautions, particularly during times of communal prayer.”

The United Jewish Federation of Utah says it "extends our heartfelt condolences to the loves ones and community of those murdered at the Christchurch Mosques in New Zealand."

All faiths should stand as one with our Muslim brethren in reaction to these vile terrorist attacks. We encourage members of our community, its clergy and organizations to take the opportunity to reach out to our Muslim brothers and sisters that are reeling from this this attack. As Jews, we know how terrifying it is to be targeted with violence because of who we are.

"We recognize and identify with so many of the Muslim faith that have become targets of Islamophobia and we condemn such activities around the world. Our Jewish faith teachers us that 'All of Israel are connected to one another.'"

Today in the wake of the attacks on the Christchurch mosques we stand as one under our faith and love to our brethren. May the memory of those murdered be a blessing to their loved ones and may their families find comfort and support from their community, country and all of us around the world

Gov. Gary Herbert said:

I was heartbroken to hear of the hateful and vile attack on innocent worshippers in New Zealand. I am sickened when I think of it. In addition to the horror of these murders, I am disgusted by the shooter’s white supremacist ideology.

"We do not tolerate hatred in our communities. During this time of pain and mourning, I hope all Utahns will reach out in love to our Muslim neighbors. Let’s extend a comforting hand to those who may be feeling vulnerable and afraid."

"The State of Utah has a proud heritage of welcoming people of all creeds and backgrounds. During this time of mourning, our Department of Public Safety and Refugee Services Office are offering focused support to members of our Muslim community as we reaffirm our commitment to protecting the freedom and safety of all Utahns."

Other authorities and organizations have posted on social media the alleged terrorist attack. Here are their reactions:

The Pacific Area Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today issued their statement regarding the many lives lost in the shooting:

We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of so many lives as a result of yesterday's senseless attacks in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Our prayers are with the families of the deceased, the injured, and all others impacted by this tragedy. We also pray for all New Zealanders and our Muslim brothers and sisters throughout the world.

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