Muslim men pray at a mosque in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Friday, April 26, 2019. Some mosques in Sri Lanka are holding communal Friday prayers despite the potential for attacks after the Easter suicide bombings. Sri Lankan authorities had told Muslims to pray at home rather than attend communal Friday prayers that's the most important of the week. Image Credit: AP

It is a week now since a squad of suicide bombers killed more than 250 innocent victims across Sri Lanka, a horror that was wilfully meant to inflame sectarian tensions and target the island nation’s small Christian minority and tourists. It is a crime of the most heinous nature, one that repulses every right thinking person on this planet.

In the days following those sickening events of Easter Sunday, there have been various claims of responsibility by extremists — terrorist groups who claim they were responsible for targeting the innocent wholly on the basis of the faith they followed. It is a vile and egregious misrepresentation of everything that Islam teaches us. There are reports that the Sri Lankan atrocities were allegedly committed in a response to the sick and horrific atrocity inflicted on those who gathered in the mosques of Christchurch on March 15. That too is a vile misrepresentation of what happened that darkest day in New Zealand. The massacre there was perpetrated by a sick, tormented and deranged man who was motivated by evil and extremism, not by the values of peace that are central to the Christian creed.

Yes, there is a commonality between Christchurch and Colombo — both are acts of terrorism, both committed by those who are fuelled by hatred. They are terrorists plain and simple — and terrorism has no religion, no faith in the goodness of man and peaceful coexistence for all. Those responsible for these horrific acts do not stand in the light of any creed, but act in the darkness of pure evil and hatred.

We firmly stand four square behind the pained people of Sri Lanka, behind every victim killed or injured by the bombers’ work, by every measure to bring retribution and justice to those responsible for this mass murder, by every vow that an atrocity of such nature — in Sri Lanka, New Zealand or in any corner of the globe — shall never happen again.

There have been reports that authorities on the island had some intelligence pointing to the possibility of attacks. Should that indeed be the case, then those responsible for a failure to act need to be held accountable, just as those responsible for the planning and execution of the bombings need to face justice swiftly too.

There is only one way the world must look at this: Terrorism is terrorism, pure and evil. And it has no place in any civilised country.