An unidentified man wearing a Donald Trump T-shirt “yelled abuse at members of the Muslim community” gathered at Masjid Al Noor Mosque, one of the mosques targeted in the Christchurch terror attack, according to stuff.co.nz. More than 40 of the 50 victims murdered by a white supremacist during last month’s terror attack died there.
“He was there for about 15 minutes, he also kicked and tried to damage some of the memorial items along Deans Ave in front of the Masjid,” said one person who witnessed the incident. Others who were at the scene said the man shouted obscenities, accused all Muslims of being terrorists, and demanded that they “leave” New Zealand.
17-year-old Yasmeenah Safiya told Stuff that she received a call from one of her friends who was at the scene.
“She was like, ‘a guy just came in wearing a Trump shirt and he was shouting abuse at all of us,” she said. “I just want the people of New Zealand to know that racism is still here, and it frustrates me when people say that racism is not us because it’s been happening for years.”
“Police are aware of a man who acted in a disorderly manner on Deans Avenue today, and are actively seeking him. He could face a disorderly behavior charge,” a police spokesperson told The Daily Beast.
For many, the incident served as another example of white supremacists emboldened by the U.S. president’s rhetoric.
sickening!!!… and further evidence of the ignorant people who are hateful and intolerant following Trump!! He wont denounce this behavior he fuels it he started it he is responsible and loves to hate
— little wing (@littlewing628) April 10, 2019
Trump supporters spreading the love everywhere.
— My Spirit Animal is Bratwurst (@BlueDotSeaOfRed) April 10, 2019
I’m sure Trump is very proud his white supremacist supporters are worldwide.
— Christopher Snider (@crsni234) April 10, 2019
I am sickened to read this article.When will we truly find love? And why did he police who were present not intervene? What’s going on? Police have some explaining to do. Love, only love will overcome. #love https://t.co/I8cQxoALLY
— Tony Keen (@Forestmoss) April 10, 2019
A man wearing a Donald Trump T-shirt has yelled abuse at members of the Muslim community gathered at one of the mosques targeted in the Christchurch terror attack.
Trump is now a global symbol of hate the likes of which we haven’t seen since Hitler.https://t.co/16IxrnX9m3
— Hayden Black (@haydenblack) April 10, 2019
That incident was not an isolated one. Safiya said she was verbally harassed by a “sleazy man” who told her she “should have got shot as well” as she headed to her car after running late for Friday prayers.
“I wasn’t even thinking about how I felt at that moment. I was more worried about all of my loved ones inside the masjid,” she said, noting that she’d felt distressed by what she’d heard.
President Donald Trump has declined to say whether white supremacist thought influenced the Christchurch terror attacks.
When asked shortly after the attacks if he sees white nationalism “as a rising threat around the world,” Trump responded, “I don’t really.”
Reporter: "Do you see white nationalism as a rising threat around the world?"
Trump: "I don't really."
— Southern Poverty Law Center (@splcenter) March 15, 2019
Trump’s response is a far cry from that of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who named the threat for what it was in her remarks to legislators.
“He sought many things from his act of terror but one was notoriety, that is why you will never hear me mention his name… He is a terrorist. He is a criminal. He is an extremist. But he will, when I speak, be nameless,” she said in the days following the attacks. “And to others, I implore you: Speak the names of those who were lost rather than the name of the man who took them. He may have sought notoriety but we, in New Zealand, will give nothing—not even his name.”
The Prime Minister of New Zealand continues,
"And to others, I implore you: Speak the names of those who were lost rather than the name of the man who took them. He may have sought notoriety but we, in New Zealand, will give nothing—not even his name.”pic.twitter.com/kej5GqapZo
— Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) March 19, 2019
In a tweet last month, Trump claimed that the “Fake News Media is working overtime” to blame him for the Christchurch attacks.
The Fake News Media is working overtime to blame me for the horrible attack in New Zealand. They will have to work very hard to prove that one. So Ridiculous!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 18, 2019
In a 74-page document, the white supremacist who perpetrated the attacks said he supports Trump “as a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.”