Bipartisan Group of Senators Introduce Senate Resolution Condemning Terrorist Attacks in New Zealand

WASHINGTON – In the wake of this month’s terrorist attack in New Zealand, U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Jim Risch (D-Idaho), the Ranking Member and Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, were joined by Senators Gary Peters (D-Mi.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Ed Markey (D-Mass.), and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) in introducing a bipartisanSenate resolution condemning the March 15, 2019 attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, where an armed white supremacist murdered 50 Muslims and injured 50 more at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques. The bipartisan resolution, which is expected to be adopted by the full Senate this week, expresses condolences to the victims and families affected by the attack and notes the strong bond that the United States and New Zealand share.

 

“I am proud to be joined by my colleagues in introducing this resolution to stand together with the people of New Zealand, condemn hate and white supremacy, and extend our support to the Muslim community in the aftermath of this horrific attack,” said Menendez. “Although on opposite ends of the world, New Zealand and the U.S. are both nations of immigrants who are dedicated to the ideals of democracy, tolerance, and freedom of expression of heritage and religion. The United States must do more to ensure anyone who wishes to practice their faith is able to do so with a mind at ease knowing they are not at risk. This  resolution should be seen as a bipartisan recognition that all of us who occupy places of public trust must be certain that our language, our messages, our rhetoric and our policy stands against such depraved actions as the tragic massacre in Christchurch.”

 

“The people of the United States stand in solidarity with our friends and allies in New Zealand as they mourn the horrific terrorist attack perpetrated against the Muslim community in Christchurch,” said Risch. “No person anywhere should have to fear violence or terror in a place of worship. I join with my colleagues in expressing deepest condolences over the innocent lives lost, and in condemning radical and extremist ideologies, including white supremacism, which inspired this act of terror.”

 

“I was heartbroken by the act of terror that took place at a mosque in New Zealand. White supremacist terrorism has taken too many lives, and this form of hate will stop at nothing to divide us. It is times like these that we must all band together against this evil,” said Peters. “Nobody should feel targeted for going to their house of worship. I am proud to help introduce a resolution reaffirming that this twisted ideology has no place in our society and we stand by our close allies in New Zealand as they grieve over this attack.”

 

“The acts of hate in New Zealand have no place in our world,” said Gardner. “Places of worship are sacred and this act of terror is horrifying -- to target those where they feel most safe. We must come together to work against violent extremism and end this scourge. The United States stands with New Zealand.”

 

The massacre at the Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, was spawned by white supremacy and hatred of Muslims and immigrants,” said Durbin. “My heart continues to go out to the victims of this devastating attack, their families, and the communities affected,” Durbin said.  “Today’s resolution sends the message that the U.S. Senate stands in solidarity with the Muslim community and in opposition to anyone who tries to divide us from our brothers and sisters of every faith.”

 

“Hate in all its forms deserves swift and thorough condemnation” said McConnell. “The anti-Muslim terrorist attacks in New Zealand are only the most recent horrific example of religious and ethnic violence that is intended to tear apart our societies. We stand with the New Zealand Muslim community and the faithful of the Linwood and Al Noor mosques and pray that all faith communities sustain each other on the healing road ahead.”

 

“The terrorist attack in Christchurch was horrific and heartbreaking,” said Markey. “Our thoughts are with the victims, as well as with their families and loved ones. The best way we can honor those whose lives were cut short is to recognize the pernicious spread of white supremacist ideology and work proactively to address the threat worldwide.”

 

“My heart goes out to the people of New Zealand, especially the families that are grieving the loved ones they lost in the heinous terrorist attack at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques,” said Schumer. “Our New Zealand brothers and sisters should know that the U.S. Congress stands with them, and I stand with the Muslim community in Christchurch and around the world in fighting Islamophobia and the evil scourge that is white supremacism.”

 

 

The resolution, in its entirety, is provided below and here:

 

Condemning the March 15, 2019, terrorist attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand, offering sincere condolences to all of the victims and their families, and expressing and standing in solidarity with the people and the Government of New Zealand. 

Whereas, on March 15, 2019, an armed white supremacist murdered 50 Muslims and injured dozens more at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand;

Whereas Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said that “[i]t is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack,” noting that many of the victims could be migrants or refugees, and pronouncing it “one of New Zealand’s darkest days”;

Whereas the people of New Zealand are grieving following the terrorist attacks, which targeted and killed innocent men, women, and children;

Whereas the people of the United States and New Zealand stood shoulder-to-shoulder and shared spilled blood in the struggles of the 20th century to combat fascism, racism, and other extremist ideologies;

Whereas New Zealand is among the closest allies of the United States;

Whereas New Zealand is a diverse nation with a proud tradition of immigration with more than 200 ethnicities and 160 languages, and the strength and vibrancy of New Zealand are enhanced by the diverse religious beliefs and tolerance of its citizens, including followers of all major religions, including Islam, Christianity, and Judaism;

Whereas the suspect in the Christchurch killings is a self-described immigrant-hating white supremacist who used a helmet-mounted camera to broadcast live video of the slaughter in an apparent effort to instigate further white supremacist, anti-Muslim, and anti-immigrant violence;

Whereas, over the past several years, there has been a disturbing increase in white supremacist violence around the globe, with dozens of people of faith murdered, including in their places of worship;

Whereas the scourge of white nationalism around the world must be condemned unequivocally; and

Whereas the reprehensible attacks at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques have no place in a peaceful, civilized, tolerant world: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate—

(1) condemns the horrific terrorist attacks on the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand;

(2) expresses its deepest condolences to the victims of those attacks and their families;

(3) expresses solidarity with the people of New Zealand, including the Islamic community of New Zealand;

(4) recognizes the threat posed by white supremacist terrorism and recommits United States leadership in building more inclusive, diverse, and tolerant societies; and

(5) calls upon the United States Government to redouble its efforts, using all available and appropriate tools, to combat the spread of white supremacist terrorism.

 

 

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