"We must never let terrorists divide our communities."

Those are the words of Bradford West MP Naz Shah after news of mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. 


Forty-nine people have been killed in what Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called “one of New Zealand’s darkest days”.

Authorities have detained four people and defused explosive devices in what appeared to be a carefully planned attack.

“It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack,” Ms Ardern said.

There will be a gathering in Centenary Square, Bradford, this afternoon as a mark of respect to those who have lost thier lives.

Bishop of Bradford, the Rt Revd Toby Howarth joined worshippers for prayers at the city’s Central Mosque and said:​ “It is important, after the horrific attacks in New Zealand, that we fight hatred with friendship and stood in solidarity with Muslims as they gathered for Friday Prayers today.

“The friendships across our different faiths in Bradford are strong and I thank God for those relationships as we pray together for all those affected.”

Bradford West MP Naz Shah said this morning: "I have spoken to the Home Secretary Sajid Javid this morning who has reassured me that local police will be speaking to the local Muslim community particularly around Jummah later today, he agreed with me that we will fight all forms of terror and never let terrorists divide our communities. Never.

"Be vigilant. Be safe. Be strong. Remain united."

While, Bradford South Judith Cummins said: "Shocking and heartbreaking news. I stand in solidarity with all in New Zealand in tackling this awful hatred."

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Forty people have been killed in mass shootings at two mosques in New Zealand. Pic: AP PhotoForty people have been killed in mass shootings at two mosques in New Zealand. Pic: AP Photo

Imran Hussain, MP for Bradford East, added: "I condemn this horrific terror attack on Muslim worshippers in a place of faith, and my thoughts and prayers go out to all of those who are grieving in New Zealand following this tragic loss of life.

"Attempts to drive a wedge between communities cannot, and will not ever, win."

Bradford Council Leader Susan Hinchcliffe said: “Our hearts go out to the victims and their families. This sickening terrorist attack on mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand has shocked us all.

"Bradford stands together with them in their grief. It is terrible to know that someone can have such hate in them that they kill men, women and children, in a place of worship, in cold blood. 

"We must not, and will not, let hatred win.”

Councillor Mohammed Shafiq (Lab, Bradford Moor) added: "Devastating news from Christchurch New Zealand this morning, as at least 40 people lose their lives in horrific acts of violence and terror at two mosques.

"My thoughts are with the victims and their families and with the people of New Zealand as they try to come to terms with what has happened."

Bradford Bulls legend and New Zealand international Robbie Hunter-Paul also shared his thoughts following the attack

Meanwhile, Councillor Simon Cooke (Con, Bingley Rural) shared his views on Twitter.

He wrote: "This morning people I know, friends, neighbours will turn on the news and won't think 'that's shocking and tragic' about Christchurch, they'll think 'that could have been me, my family'.

"Just a couple of days ago, in response to a news report I was quoted in about street grooming, I was sent a long email filled with quotes from the Koran blaming it on Islam.

"I hear the lie that Muslims are "invading" almost every day along with myths about how they will take over any time soon.

"This is what people mean by Islamophobia."

Harun Khan, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, said: “This is the most deadly Islamophobic terrorist attack we have witnessed in recent times.

"As the rest of us prepare to undertake our own Friday prayers today, we do so with the anxiety as to whether our mosques and communities are safe in the face of unabated Islamophobia and hostility against Muslims.

"I call on our government to redouble its efforts to ensure mosques are protected, and call on fellow Muslims to resist the temptation to roll up the banners in fear, as this attack was designed to do.”

The Bradford-based Muslim Women's Council said in a statement: "The Muslim Women’s Council are shocked and deeply saddened by the horrific news of the New Zealand terror attacks.

"How can the entire world stand back and watch these horrific terror attacks occur and not collectively condemn what’s going on right now?

"This is terrorism, in its ugly, brutal form and it has no place in any religion or community.

"We call on our government and institutions to protect Muslims against the rise of Islamophobia by strengthening the law against Muslim hate in all its forms, and to counteract these far-right narratives. Our government needs to ensure that we don’t see a replica of this atrocity occur in our places of worship in the UK.

"This is a time for faith leaders and communities to come together and change the narrative of hate that is spreading across the world. We stand in solidarity with all those affected.

"We call on our fellow Muslims to stay strong in their faith and to stay united."

While peace expert Professor Paul Rogers, from the University of Bradford, said the attack appears to be an example of the rise of the 'extreme right', which is happening in a number of countries.

And in terms of right-wing extremism, Professor Rogers said people don't realise it is a problem within British society and while it has happened periodically, it "has returned with a vengeance" and is of great concern to the authorities. 

There will be a short service and a minute’s silence held at 5:30pm today in Centenary Square in remembrance of those who lost their lives and were injured in, or affected by, the terror attacks.

The service will be attended by the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Coun Zafar Ali, and led by The Very Reverend Jerry Lepine, Dean of Bradford.  The Lord Mayor’s Chaplain, Mufti Khurshid Alam Sabri, will also attend as will a group from Believing in Bradford.

All are invited to attend the service, meeting at 5:30pm on the square to remember all those who have been affected by the atrocity.