Luton has extended a wave of sympathy to New Zealand following shocking news at least 49 people were shot dead in terror attacks outside two mosques.
The massacre took place during Friday prayers at both Mosques in Christchurch. Three men have been taken into custody and 20 others are reportedly injured.
Bedfordshire Police’s Chief Constable Jon Boutcher said: “Thoughts with everyone in New Zealand. I shall visit mosques today to pay my respects and reassure friends. Hatred and division because of difference leads to unthinkable consequences. When will these people realise that our differences are our strengths.”
Peter Adams, of St Mary’s Centre for Peace and Reconciliation, said: “Sickened and angry. God be with our Muslim friends and the whole community and may they face this terrible evil together.
Luton Borough Council tweeted: “Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the horrific events in Christchurch, New Zealand overnight.”
Luton’s Next Generation Youth Theatre (NGYT) stated: “Sadly on days like today we are reminded about the hatred and extreme sickening brutality that is within SOME of humanity. Let’s stay strong and remember we are one human race and no extremist minority will break us.”
The Muslim Council of Great Britain stated: “This is the most deadly Islamophobic terrorist attack we have experienced in recent times.
“My condolences to the families affected. As the rest of us prepare to undertake our own Friday prayers today, we do so with the anxiety as to whether our mosques and communities are safe in the face of unabated Islamophobia and hostility against Muslims.
“I call on our government to redouble its efforts to ensure mosques are protected, and call on fellow Muslims to resist the temptation to roll up the banners in fear, as this attack was designed to do.”