'Disturbing' competition to meet Christchurch massacre victims

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A Muslim group has been forced to apologise after promoting a trip to Christchurch to meet victims of the massacre.

Muslims of the World, an outreach group, posted a giveaway to its Instagram followers on Thursday offering the chance for a “free trip to New Zealand to meet the families of the victims”.

Fifty people were killed in attacks on two mosques in Christchurch on New Zealand’s South Island on March 15 in what’s been called a terror attack.

Entrants were asked to follow MOTW’s founder Sajjad Shah, scholar Suhaib Webb and author Khaled Beydoun on Instagram and tag friends in the post. The three men were meant to accompany winners to New Zealand.

A child offers flowers near the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch on March 19. Source: AAP
A child offers flowers near the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch on March 19. Source: AAP

But the post has been lashed by Maha Elmadani, whose father Ali was one of the 50 people killed.

She wrote on Instagram the competition “is actually disgusting”.

“You guys are turning this horrific massacre into some f***king excuse to vacation in New Zealand and you’re doing it on the back of the victims that died,” she wrote.

“My dad died in that mosque and so did 49 of the most beautiful souls that walked this earth.

“Why don’t you just piss off Khaled Beydoun? I don’t know who you think you are but you and your idiot friends are not welcome to come here and look at us like some animals in a zoo.”

Her comment was liked more than 300 times.

The post was also criticised by Joseph Wilits, who works for the Council for Arab-British Understanding.

“This is a really disturbing act of voyeurism,” he tweeted.

“Incredibly crass and insensitive.”

Muslims of the World posted an apology on Instagram on Friday adding its intention was to visit “in hopes of being agents of healing and community”.

“However, our wording was insensitive and we take full ownership of it,” MOTW wrote.

“We apologise for our offensive post and ask for your forgiveness. We are trying our best to bring goodness in this world and we did make a serious mistake.”

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