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Muslims Express Relief At Guilty Plea

Press Release – Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand

The president of FIANZ (the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand) has expressed his relief at the unexpected guilty plea by the Christchurch terrorist. In a Christchurch High Court appearance by videolink on Thursday (26 March) the 29-year-old …

The president of FIANZ (the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand) has expressed his relief at the unexpected guilty plea by the Christchurch terrorist.

In a Christchurch High Court appearance by videolink on Thursday (26 March) the 29-year-old man, who is being held in maximum security in an Auckland prison, admitted to 51 charges of murder, 40 charges of attempted murder and a charge of engaging in a terrorist act.

He had previously pleaded not guilty to all the charges and had been due to stand trial on 2 June.

“I believe I speak for all Muslims everywhere when I say how relieved I was when I heard this news,” said FIANZ president Farouk Khan.

“It means that no victim will have to appear as a witness. Nobody from our community will have to go through the agony of reliving the awful events of that day.

“Justice – one of the highest principles in our religion – is being seen to be done. I pray that there can now be some sort of closure for the many people whose lives have been changed forever by what happened on that day.

“I am pleased that the two imams from the two Christchurch mosques were able to be in court representing their community. It cannot have been easy for them and my prayers are with them. But I understand and share the disappointment of those who were not able to be there.

“It is a credit to the authorities that they were able to arrange and manage this special hearing at short notice on day one of the coronavirus lockdown.

Farouk Khan praised the police for their quick action almost immediately after the attack began, without which many more lives would have been lost, and the prime minister for her empathy and actions in the aftermath.

Justice Cameron Mander did not set a date for sentencing.

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