Four Egyptians were among the 50 who lost their lives when gunmen opened fire at worshippers in two mosques during Friday prayers on 15 March. New Zealand authorities described the shooting as a terror attack. Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old white supremist appeared in court on Saturday morning charged with murder.
A recent announcement issued jointly by Minister of Immigration and Expatriate Affairs Nabila Makram, and Egypt’s Ambassador to New Zealand Tarek Elwassimy, declared that, upon contacting relevant New Zealand authorities, it was found that four Egyptians were among the dead.
The four men were named by the ambassador as Munir Suleiman, 68, Ahmad Gamal Eddin Abdel-Rahman, also 68, Ashraf Mursi, and Ashraf al-Masri. The ages of the latter two were not given.
Egypt had condemned the terror shooting on the two New Zealand mosques, with President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi denouncing the attack “in the strongest terms”. The brutal incident, President Sisi said, “shocks the conscience of humanity and places it in front of its fundamental responsibility of joining international efforts for an all-out confrontation with terrorism, violence, and extremism.”
The Egyptian Council of Churches and all Egypt’s Churches individually condemned the terror attach and offered warmest sympathy and condolences to New Zealand.
Pope Tawadros II issued a statement on behalf of the Coptic Orthodox Church condemning the terror attack, and strongly rejecting all forms of violence against any human being, no matter his or her faith, ethnicity, or race. The Church, the statement said, prays for peace for the souls of those who lost their lives, comfort for their families and friends, and full recovery for the injured and traumatised. Prayers are also up, the statement said for the all the “souls sick with fanaticism, extremism, and hatred” that they too may be healed.
The Coptic Orthodox and Catholic Churches in New Zealand condemned the deadly massacre, praying for peace and offering condolences to the families of those who lost their lives. Sunday 17 March, they held special prayers for the victims and the injured as their church bells tolled at noontime.
17 March 2019