Nearly two-thirds of the world's Muslim population live in the Asia-Pacific region. In the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque attacks, the Asia Media Centre rounds up some of the initial reaction and media coverage from across Asia — both from countries who lost their nationals in the attacks and those who didn't.
Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina sent a message to Jacinda Ardern, expressing her "deep shock" and condemnation of the attacks on two mosques in Christchurch.
Reports on the number of Bangladeshis missing and the number killed varied on Sunday. Among those confirmed dead was Husna Ahmed, who was shot dead as she returned to Masjid Al Noor on Deans Ave to check on her paraplegic husband.
Much of the Bangladeshi media coverage has focused on the narrow escape by the country's cricket team, whose members were in a bus approaching the mosque on Deans Ave as the attack happened.
Read Bangladesh media reports:
Dhaka Tribune: New Zealand terror attacks: 2 Bangladeshis killed, 3 missing
The Daily Star: Sleepless Tigers return home
Chinese President Xi Jinping sent condolences to Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy, while Premier Li Keqiang sent condolences to Prime Minister Ardern. Xinhua news agency has had journalists in Christchurch, who conducted interviews with the Bangladesh cricket team, among their other reporting.
On Sunday, the Indian High Commission in Wellington named five Indian nationals who had lost their lives in the attacks. Indian Weekender also named others who were New Zealand nationals of Indian origin among the deceased.
Soon after the Friday attack, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote to Jacinda Ardern expressing his solidarity with "the friendly people of New Zealand", saying hatred and violence had no place in diverse and democratic societies.
Read Indian media reports:
(New Zealand) Indian Weekender: Chch mosque shooting: Faces of Kiwi-Indian victims emerge
Indonesia is the world's biggest Muslim-majority country and has the largest Muslim population in the world.
Indonesia's Foreign Ministry has said there are 330 Indonesians living in Christchurch – 130 of them students. Indonesian Ambassador Tantowi Yahya has said seven Indonesians were among those at the two mosques at the time of the attacks. Lilik Abdul Hamid, an engineer for Air New Zealand, has been named amongst the deceased.
Ambassador Yahya has been in Christchurch with his team. The Embassy reported that Indonesia's Foreign Minister, Retno Marsudi, had called Nina Hamid, wife of Lilik Abdul Hamid, to convey her sympathies. Ambassador Yahya had also visited Zulfirman Syah and his two-year-old son who suffered gunshot wounds.
In South Jakarta, three footbridges in front of the Gelora Bung Karno sports complex and the Jakarta police headquarters were lit up in the colours of the New Zealand flag to show solidarity.
Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said in a recorded message on Instagram: “Jakarta stands in solidarity with Christchurch, New Zealand and all of its residents who are known for their peace and openness to anyone from various backgrounds.”
Read Indonesian media reports:
The Jakarta Post: President Jokowi condemns Christchurch mosque shootings
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga expressed “heartfelt condolences” to the shooting victims and their families, while extending sympathy for the injured. Suga expressed “solidarity with the people of New Zealand.”
On Friday, Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad used his Facebook page to urge the New Zealand Government to do its best to “arrest these terrorists" and take "necessary action".
“Malaysia condemns in the strongest terms this senseless act of terror on innocent civilians and hopes that those responsible for this barbaric crime be brought to justice,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
About 1000 Malaysians are estimated to be living in Christchurch, about 200 of whom are students.
Three Malaysians were injured in the attacks and a fourth, 17-year-old Muhd Haziq Tarmizi, was still missing on Sunday. Foreign Ministry deputy secretary-general Datuk Nadzirah Osman has been sent to New Zealand to provide support.
Read Malaysian media reports:
Islam is the state religion of Pakistan; the country has the second largest number of Muslims in the world after Indonesia. Prime Minister Imran Khan blamed rising Islamophobia for the attacks, and said on Twitter on Friday that "terrorism does not have a religion". Protests took place in at least four Pakistani cities - Islamabad, Peshawar, Lahore and Karachi - over the weekend, with some protesters burning photos of the terror suspect.
At least nine people originally from Pakistan died in the attacks; three from the same family. Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pakistan Dr Mohammad Faisal has been tweeting regular updates about the Pakistani victims.
Khan tweeted on Sunday that Naeem Rashid, originally from Abbottabad, would be recognised with a national award for "trying to tackle the White Supremacist terrorist".
Read Pakistan media reports:
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said he was deeply shocked by the attack and called it a heinous act. "New Zealand is far away from the upheavals and turbulence of the Middle East, and far away from Southeast Asia and its terrorist groups, yet it experienced this attack," he wrote on Facebook.
Read Singapore media reports:
Straits Times: Showing solidarity with local Muslim community
Main image: James To
- Asia Media Centre