An overseas Muslim group has been lambasted for creating a competition to win a "free trip to New Zealand" to meet the families of the Christchurch massacre victims.
The Muslims of the World [MOTW] competition, posted to the organisation's Instagram account yesterday, has been slammed as "disgusting" by the daughter of one of the victims.
The competition post, which has now been deleted, promises a trip to New Zealand with three American Muslims, author Khaled Beydoun, MOTW founder Sajjad Shah and scholar and imam Suhaib Webb to meet the families and visit the Al Noor and Linwood mosques where 50 people were gunned down on March 15.
Entry was by "following" the three men on Instagram and tagging others in the comments of the post.
Christchurch graphic designer Maha Elmadani, whose father Ali Elmadani died in the terrorist attack, commented on Instagram calling the competition disgusting and saying she could not believe the trio thought it was a good idea.
"You guys are turning this horrific massacre into some f***ing excuse to vacation in NZ and you're doing it on the backs of the victims that died," Elmadani wrote.
"My dad died in that mosque and so did 49 of the most beautiful souls that walked this Earth."
She told Beydoun he and his friends were not welcome "to come here and look at us like some animals in a zoo".
Elmadani said Beydoun, who was criticised by New Zealand media on Twitter last week for allegedly plagiarising stories about the attacks, had "constantly provided false information on the victims".
She said he did not correct information when requested but made the tragedy "about yourself while disregarding the families and victims".
"Why don't you just leave us to grieve properly and go feed your f***ing ego somewhere else."
The competition was also criticised on Twitter by Joseph Willits from the Council for Arab-British Understanding, who called it a "really disturbing act of voyeurism", and "incredibly crass and insensitive".
This morning MOTW, which has 300,000 followers, posted an apology on Instagram.
"Our intention was to visit New Zealand in hopes of being agents of healing and community," the post read.
"However, our wording was insensitive and we take full ownership of it.
"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."
An executive member of the Masjid Al Noor in Christchurch told the Herald the mosque had not been approached by the group and she did not know anything about the competition.
The woman, who did not want to give her name, called the competition insensitive.
"People are still grieving and mourning. Right now people are so fragile. What's happening now is too very raw.
"Especially at the moment with some people saying this is not real. We buried our friends. We washed them and we buried them. How can they ever say things like that? It is very painful for a lot of us."
Beydoun, whose book American Islamophobia has just been published, irked New Zealand media during coverage of the attacks for copying stories and photographs without credit.