Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart has stated that he believes the terrorist attack in New Zealand was caused by ‘unchecked white supremacy.’
The mayor tweeted about the attack in the morning on Thursday, March 15, underscoring that it, “must be called out for what it is.” Specifically, he said that the attack was,
“Islamophobia stoked by unchecked white supremacism.”
He added that the attack broke his heart, and told ChristChurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel that he was sending his, “deepest condolences to the victims, their loved ones, and all of Christchurch.”
Now the country’s deadliest shooting to date, 49 people at two mosques were shot and killed. The gunman live-streamed the attack, too.
Mayor Stewart also issued an official statement on the terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand:
“The flag at City Hall has been lowered to half-mast in an expression of sympathy and solidarity with our Muslim friends and neighbours here in Vancouver. I have been in contact with the Vancouver Police Department and they are working with the local Muslim community to ensure everyone feels safe and supported,” he said.
“This tragedy is a reminder that no place is safe from hatred and that we in Vancouver must resolve today and every day to naming it and fighting it. I hope everyone takes a moment to think about how we can be the best neighbours and friends possible as we continue to build a city that is welcoming and safe for all.”
The statement also includes the hashtag #theyareus, which is meant to show solidarity with the Muslim community. The message of peace was inspired by New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Arden who spoke the words at a press conference.