The chairman of New Zealand’s biggest mosque has come under fire for suggesting Israel’s Mossad spy agency and “Zionist business houses” were behind the Christchurch massacre that killed 50 Muslim worshipers.
The country’s Jewish community and national human rights institution both condemned the remarks, made on Saturday at a rally in Auckland organized by a group called Love Aotearoa Hate Racism and streamed live on local broadcaster Apna TV’s Facebook page.
One of the speakers at the rally was Fiji Indian businessman Ahmed Bhamji, who is the chairman of Masjid E Umar in the Auckland suburb of Mount Roskill — which describes itself on its Facebook page as the “busiest and biggest” mosque in New Zealand.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had visited that mosque on the same day as the rally, mourning the victims of the massacre committed by Australian white supremacist Brenton Tarrant.
“I really want to say one thing today,” Bhamji told a crowd of hundreds of people who attended the rally. “Do you think this guy was alone? I want to ask you — where did he get the funding from? … He has been here [for] two years, in New Zealand. Tell me, what has he been doing here for two years? Where was he working? Where was he getting the money from?
“I will not mince words,” Bhamji added. “I stand here and I say I have a very very strong suspicion that there is some group behind him and I am not afraid to say I feel Mossad is behind this.”
A man in the crowd can then be heard shouting: “That’s the truth. Israel is behind this. That’s right!”
Bhamji continued: “And not only them. There are some business houses, also, who are around… you know, Zionist business houses that are behind him. And I think when the investigations come through, the investigations need to look at that angle. Where did he get the money to buy all those guns?
A man in the crowd then interjected and shouted: “Israel!”
SOURCE: MICHAEL BACHNER
The Times of Israel