A man reportedly wearing a Donald Trump shirt visited one of the New Zealand mosques which were targeted in last month's horrific massacre to scream abuse at Muslim worshippers and survivors of the attacks, according to reports coming out of Christchurch.
The news website stuff.co.nz reported that the unidentified man, reportedly wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the slogan “Trump For New Zealand,” turned up outside the Masjid Al Noor mosque Wednesday afternoon. The mosque was where more than 40 of the 50 victims of the terror attack lost their lives as they attended Friday prays on March 15.
According to people who said they were at the scene, the apparent Trump fan shouted obscene language, accused all Muslims of being terrorists, and told those visiting the mosques—still in mourning for the dozens of friends and relatives that they lost—that they “all need to leave” New Zealand.
“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,” according to one unnamed person who said he witnessed the incident and discussed it on a local Muslim community page on Facebook. He posted a photo of a man in a Trump shirt next to two cops.
The report claims police—who have been stationed at the mosque with guns since the attack—decided not to arrest the man so as not to “potentially inflame the situation at that significant location.”
However, a police spokesperson told The Daily Beast: “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.”
Yasmeenah Safiya, 17, said she received a call from one of her friends who was at the scene, explaining to the Stuff website: “She was like, ‘a guy just came in wearing a Trump shirt and he was shouting abuse at all of us.’”
She added: “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.”
Fifty people died in the two consecutive terrorist attacks at at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques. The suspected attacker 28-year-old Australian Brenton Harrison Tarrant, is facing 50 charges of murder and 39 of attempted murder.
The self-described racist flashed a white power sign during his first court appearance last month.