Growing Islamophobia to increase chaos: Maleeha Lodhi

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NEW YORK: Pakistan’s permanent representative to the United Nations Dr Maleeha Lodhi has said the deadly terrorist attack on two mosques in New Zealand was another grim reminder of the Islamophobia sweeping the world, Radio Pakistan reported on Sunday.

The death toll in Friday’s terror attack has jumped to 50 and it was the worst ever peacetime mass killing in New Zealand and the country had raised its security threat level to the highest.

Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist, was charged with murder on Saturday. Tarrant was remanded without a plea and is due back in court on April 5 where police said he was likely to face more charges.

Read more: NZ mosque shootings toll rises to 50, families wait to bury their dead

Addressing delegates attending the UN Commission on Status of Women, she linked the attack to stereotyping, which she argued can be seriously consequential as it can lead to misperceptions, demonization and even violence.

The Pakistani envoy said it is a slippery slope when Muslims are stereotyped and mischaracterized, sometimes deliberately by those who engage in hate speech.

Earlier in the day, the Foreign Office had confirmed the death of three more Pakistanis in Christchurch mosque shootings, increasing the number of Pakistanis who embraced martyrdom in the incident to nine.

According to spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal, Zeeshan Raza, his father Ghulam Hussain and mother Karam Bibi have been confirmed to have died in Friday’s terrorist attacks on two mosques in New Zealand.

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