Indonesian religious groups call for calm after terror attacks on NZ mosques

JAKARTA (The Jakarta Post/ANN) - Religious groups in Indonesia condemn the attack in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, but call on the public not to share disturbing footage of the attack.

Indonesian religious organizations have called on the people of Indonesia, which is home to the world's largest Muslim population, to avoid provocation and refrain from sharing online footage of terrorist attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Muhammadiyah and the Indonesian Communion of Churches (PGI) condemned the mosque shootings, which left 49 people dead.

The groups also called on the Indonesian government to prevent tensions from escalating as a result of the shootings.

“The government must ensure that the terrorism incidents in New Zealand do not [create tensions] in Indonesia and weaken national unity,” the deputy chairman of Muhammadiyah’s law and human rights division, Maneger Nasution, said.

The PGI asked Indonesians not to share videos of the shootings, saying that doing so would only help the terrorists.

“We hope that Indonesians, wherever they are, are not provoked by the videos and photos that are meant to spread terror,” PGI spokesperson Irma Riana Simanjuntak said.

Footage believed to have been taken by the shooter, identified as Australian Brenton Tarrant, was live-streamed and has been circulating online. The video shows him entering a mosque and methodically killing the people inside. Worshippers, possibly dead or wounded, lay huddled on the floor of the mosque, the video shows.

“Whoever the shooters are, they are the enemies of religions and humanity. They deserve to be severely punished. Local authorities should investigate the perpetrators behind the attacks,” Maneger said.

NU executive Robikin Emhas, meanwhile, called on authorities in New Zealand to investigate the incidents thoroughly.

“We expect that the authorities can immediately restore the situation so that the people can feel safe again,” he said.

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