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Redbridge mosques warned to be alert after New Zealand terror attack

PUBLISHED: 13:00 15 March 2019 | UPDATED: 16:32 15 March 2019

Police block the road near the shooting at a mosque in Linwood, Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday, March 15, 2019. Multiple people were killed during shootings at two mosques full of people attending Friday prayers. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

Police block the road near the shooting at a mosque in Linwood, Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday, March 15, 2019. Multiple people were killed during shootings at two mosques full of people attending Friday prayers. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

Mosques in Redbridge have been warned to be alert after 49 people were killed and at least 20 wounded in shootings at two places of worship in Christchurch, New Zealand this morning.

Armed police patrol 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)Armed police patrol 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)

The Federation of Redbridge Muslim Organisations (Formo) is devastated by the terror incidents and has advised mosques to work with the police and wider community to ensure Redbridge remains a safe and secure place.

“We condemn any acts of hatred, violence and terrorist activities regardless of the perpetrators or their motivations,” said Formo chairman Farouk Ismail.

“Acts of this nature seek to divide and destroy unity in our community and we must stand firm and resolute in ensuring that we remain united.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and friends and the community in New Zealand - we hope and pray that the suspects are brought to justice.”

Mr Ismail said far-right extremism is a serious threat worldwide and it is time our government takes heed.

“There has been a marked rise in anti-muslim and anti-Islam rhetoric coming from far-right groups, as well as senior politicians and the media,” he added.

“In the meantime, we urge our mosques to be alert and work with the local police and the wider community to ensure Redbridge remains a safe and secure place.”

The British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA), in partnership with Imam Sheikh Khalid from the Albayan Welfare Centre, is holding a candlelight peace vigil tonight (Friday, March 15) to show that the community in Redbridge is united against hate.

“It is important that we stand in solidarity with the victims and their families of this repugnant attack,” said BPCA chairman Wilson Chowdhry.

“It is important we offer the weight of our support to those affected.

“We encourage people to take this as an opportunity not to further their animosity against each other but rather to bridge the gap between different ethno-religious groups.

“As a charity we are saddened to hear of this condemnable news - it harks to a deep, disparaging xenophobia and innocent muslims have been caught in the collateral of an ideological war that has gone too far.”

The vigil will take place at 6.30pm outside Redbridge Town Hall, High Road, Ilford is open to all residents.

It will be followed by a community solidarity event at 7pm.

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