UAE, Egypt Promotors of Islamophobia in Europe

Political activists in Arab states believe that the UAE and Egyptian officials' remarks in recent months have helped the spread of Islamophobia in the western countries.

The Arabic-language al-Khaleej Online website quoted Arab activists as saying that the recent terrorist attack in New Zealand was the result of provocation of the far right extremists in Europe against the Muslims and mosques by a number of Islamic countries, including the UAE and Egypt.

They said Islamophobia is not just the result of the Europeans' policies but it is also promoted by the Arab officials and activists, including UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayeh al-Nahyan and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

The website added that provocation of extremists against Muslims started in a seminar in Riyadh in 2017 when the UAE foreign minister warned the Europeans about the presence of 50mln Muslims on their lands, saying that such a population also includes terrorists and extremists.

Also, el-Sisi in his comments in recent years said that the European leaders should increase supervision over mosques to prevent terrorism and extremism, according to al-Khaleej Online.

During the worst terrorist attack on New Zealand soil, 49 Muslims were killed and 48 more hurt after mass shootings at two Christchurch mosques on Thursday.

The Australian suspect arrested after dozens of worshippers were gunned down in two mosques appeared unrepentant in court in New Zealand on Saturday, staring down media members with a smirk on his face.

Brenton Tarrant, 28, appeared in a Christchurch District Court and was charged with murder. He was remanded without a plea until his next appearance in the South Island city's High Court on April 5.

Handcuffed, shoeless, and wearing a white prison suit, Tarrant did not speak. His court-appointed lawyer made no application for bail or name suppression.

He flashed an upside-down "okay" signal, a symbol used by white power groups across the globe.

Two other suspects were taken into custody while police tried to determine what role, if any, they played in the cold-blooded attack that stunned New Zealand.

Calling it a well-planned terrorist attack, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the main suspect was a licensed gun owner who used five weapons during his rampage, including two semi-automatic weapons and two shotguns.

New Zealand, with a population of five million, has relatively loose gun laws and an estimated 1.5 million firearms, or roughly one for every three people.

Muslims account for one percent of New Zealand's population, a 2013 census showed, most of whom were born overseas.

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