The Human Rights Commission (HRC) has weighed into an anti-Semitism row after a prominent Muslim leader accused Mossad for being behind the Christchurch terror attack.
On Saturday, a group called Love Aotearoa Hate Racism organised a rally for the victims in Auckland's Aotea Square.
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Ahmed Bhamji, chairman of the Mt Roskill Masjid E Umar, gave a speech questioning where the gunman got his funding from. He said he suspected it came from "Mossad" and "Zionist business".
Mossad is the foreign intelligence agency of Israel responsible for covert operations, intelligence gathering and counter-terrorism.
"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?" he can be heard saying in video footage.
"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."
But the HRC has called out Bhamji for his statements, saying it's important to "give nothing to racism".
"Prejudice against Jewish people has no place in New Zealand," it tweeted. "We must condemn racism, hate and anti-Semitism whenever we see it."
They're not the only ones disappointed; many Muslims say these views have no place at a time when New Zealand's Jewish and Islamic communities have been coming together to support each other.
Lawyer and White Ribbon ambassador Umar Abdul Kuddus said Bhamji's speech was "absolutely absurd and unacceptable".
"I am horrified and offended that the chairman made these ridiculous and hurtful comments towards the Jewish community," he wrote on Facebook.
"I was on the ground in Christchurch and I saw Rabbis and Jewish community leaders coming to support and pray with us for the victims and their families.
"I feel embarrassed that this individual is seen as a representative of my community when in fact he represents no one person of the Muslim community but for his own unacceptable views."
Kuddus' powerful message has won applause from the community, who say Bhamji doesn't represent them.
"The Jewish community has been so forthcoming with its support. Hate speeches like that has no place here regardless of one's position," one person said.
"What a waste of an opportunity to spread the message of peace, love, support and true reflection of our Muslim community," another commented.