Sturgeon: Kindness, compassion and love will defeat proponents of hate

Nicola Sturgeon has made clear her determination to tackle far-right extremism in the wake of the terror attack on two New Zealand mosques.

Fifty people were killed in the Christchurch attacks, with the country’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announcing an immediate ban on sales of “military-style” semi-automatic and automatic weapons in response.

The First Minister said “regrettably” Ms Ardern was “absolutely right” when she said “nations around the world are now engaged in a global fight against far right, racist and extremist ideology”.

She sent her sympathies to those affected by the terrorist attack, as well as her solidarity in the fight against extremism.

Speaking at the start of First Minister’s Questions in the Scottish Parliament, Ms Sturgeon said: “I do want to begin today with heartfelt condolences to the people of New Zealand after last week’s appalling terrorist attack in Christchurch.

“I hope that people in New Zealand can take some comfort from the knowledge that people across the world stand in solidarity with them.”

The shootings in Christchurch “have been felt deeply here in Scotland, as in other countries, and perhaps especially in our Muslim community,” she added.

Ms Sturgeon made clear the responsibility on politicians to “tackle hatred and prejudice through the words that we use, the actions we take and the climate we create”.

She said: “Let us today express sympathy and solidarity with victims of racist and extremist violence in Christchurch and around the world, and above all let us make clear our determination that the proponents of hate will be defeated by the values of kindness, compassion and love.”

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