MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Muslim leaders in Minnesota called for unity against bigotry and racism Friday following the massacre at two New Zealand mosques that left 49 people dead and at least 20 others wounded.
The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) held a press conference Friday morning in Minneapolis, with a number of speakers highlighting the threat of anti-Muslim bigotry in the United States and across the world.READ MORE: Brooklyn Center Officer-Involved Shooting: Victim's Family, Crowd Gather At Scene
Jaylani Hussein, the executive director of CAIR-MN, called for all Minnesotans to stand against Islamophobia.
“The only way we can move forward is when the average Minnesotan says, ‘Not in my state, not on my watch,’” he said. “That is the only way we can move forward.”
Minneapolis police released a statement Friday night showing support for the Muslim community.READ MORE: Charges: La Crosse Man Faces Third Child Sexual Assault Case
According to CBS News, the shootings in New Zealand happened Friday during morning prayers. A gunman opened fire on two mosques in Christchurch, killing 49 people and wounding at least 20 others. He also live-streamed massacre online.
Authorities arrested a suspect arrested, as well as two others. Sources told CBS News that the suspect’s name is Brenton Harrison Tarrant. The 28-year-old Australian native is charged with murder.MORE NEWS: 6 Hospitalized For CO Poisoning In St. Paul
Around the time of the shooting, a manifesto apparently written by Tarrant appeared online. In it, the author rants about “white genocide” as a result of “mass immigration.” The writer also describes himself as a fascist, adding that he sought vengeance for ISIS attacks in Europe.