(JTA) — The chairman of the New Zealand’s biggest mosque accused Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency and “Zionist business houses” of being behind the terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch.
“I really want to say one thing today. Do you think this guy was alone … I want to ask you – where did he get the funding from?” Ahmed Bhamji, chairman of the Mt Roskill Masjid E Umar, said in a speech Saturday in Auckland that was livestreamed on Facebook.
“I stand here and I say I have a very very strong suspicion that there’s some group behind him and I am not afraid to say I feel Mossad is behind this,” he said as a person in the audience shouted “It’s the truth. Israel is behind this. That’s right!”
Bhamji continued: “And not only them. There are some business houses, also, who are around … you know, Zionist business houses that are behind him.”
Bhamji was one of about 30 speakers at a rally for the victims of the mosque attacks that left 50 worshippers dead. The rally was sponsored by a group called Love Aotearoa Hate Racism.
New Zealand’s Human Rights Commission tweeted: “Prejudice against Jewish people has no place in New Zealand. We must condemn racism, hate and anti-Semitism whenever we see it.”
The New Zealand Jewish Community’s spokeswoman, Juliet Moses, told the local news website Newshub: “These conspiracy theories are dangerous lies. They put the Jewish community at risk, at a time of heightened security concerns. Conspiracy theories – particularly the idea that Jews (whether through the Jewish state or otherwise) are a malevolent controlling force in the world – are at the very core of anti-Semitism.”
Bhamji defended himself when questioned about his remarks by Newshub.
“Mossad is up to all these things,” he said. “When I talk about Mossad, why should the Jews be upset about it? I made a statement, a lot of other people made statements.”