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Mosques in New Zealand Advised to Increase Vigilance Following Terrorist Attack in Sydney

The Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand has advised mosques to stay alert and implement necessary security measures.

The Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ) has sent out emails to all of New Zealand’s 94 mosques, cautioning them to remain vigilant in the face of threats. This warning comes in the wake of Australian Police charging a 16-year-old with terrorism after allegedly stabbing a bishop during a live-streamed sermon at Christ the Good Shepherd church in NSW on Monday night. The incident was classified as a terrorist act due to potential religious motives.

A spokesperson for FIANZ mentioned that the email serves as a suggestion to stay vigilant and take appropriate security measures, especially in light of recent events in Australia. They also urged all mosque centers to immediately call 111 if any concerns arise among community members, as reported by The New Zealand Herald.

FIANZ’s Chairman of the Royal Commission response to the Christchurch terror attack, Abdur Razzaq, stated that the organization had received warnings from international Islamic networks to exercise caution. He added that while the email was precautionary, such advice is not typically disseminated by the Commission.

“Considering the recent events in Sydney and the recollection of the March 15 attack in 2019, we are merely taking preventative steps, not succumbing to panic at this time,” Mr. Razzaq explained.

‘We Don’t Want to Create Panic’

“We don’t usually issue such advisories,” Mr. Razzaq emphasized. “Our intention is not to instigate panic. This time, our assessment is that extra caution is necessary, especially given incidents in the UK. Therefore, we want to caution our community.”

“We are advising all our organizations across the country to be vigilant. Should they notice or hear anything suspicious, they should promptly inform the police,” he continued.

He noted that the New Zealand Police had been informed about the Commission’s communication with member communities.

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“We always collaborate in this manner. Although we haven’t received any direct threats, it’s important for them to be informed,” he said.

“Law enforcement and authorities have robust security measures in place. We keep them informed as well,” he concluded.

A police spokesperson confirmed being aware of the message from FIANZ to its members regarding the recent events in Australia.

“While we do not disclose security details, Police regularly communicate with the Federation and the broader Muslim community to exchange information and provide support whenever needed. We will continue to investigate any concerns or threats reported and respond accordingly,” the spokesperson stated.

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