A FAR-RIGHT group has been condemned after bigoted comments were posted on its Facebook page following the terror attack in New Zealand in which 50 people were murdered.

The offensive remarks were made after the Scottish Defence League (SDL), an extremist group opposed to Islam, posted a link to an article about a man called Andrew Graystone on Saturday.

An image of Graystone went viral following the massacre in New Zealand after he stood outside a mosque in Manchester with a sign stating he would support Muslims. Graystone was pictured holding a sign which said: “You are my friends. I will keep watch while you pray.”

The National: An image of Andrew Graystone outside a mosque with a message of solidarity went viralAn image of Andrew Graystone outside a mosque with a message of solidarity went viral

The gesture of solidarity was widely praised in the UK following the atrocity, allegedly carried out by an Australian man called Brenton Tarrant, 28, who is in custody. He is accused of carrying out attacks on two mosques in Christchurch last Friday that resulted in the deaths of at least 50 people, including children.

On Saturday, the SDL posted a link to an article about Graystone on Facebook and wrote: “And the idiot of the day award goes to ... ”

The post prompted dozens of comments, many of which were anti-Muslim and homophobic. One man wrote: “What a wank they have brought this all on them sevles [sic].” Another person posted: “F***ing d*ck head.”

Another person commented: “This mass murder in NZ is the worst possible thing that could have happened for us who want to prevent the mass immigration of Muslims into Europe.

“The Zionist/Globalist media and control system will have a field day of it. IMO it has all the halmarks [sic]of a Problem Reaction Solution and it was probably these same Zionist/Globalists who set this up. Just like they did WRT 9/11.”

On the actual day of the massacre, other offensive comments were posted including one that said: “What goes around comes around! Looking for twelve x 49 virgins.”

In response, critics condemned the comments and called for people to support a counter-protest planned for Saturday in Edinburgh where the SDL plan to demonstrate outside the Scottish Parliament about child abuse.

Unite Against Fascism Edinburgh said: “The Scottish Defence League claims its protest is against sexual abuse yet its social media accounts are covered with abusive comments based on people sexuality and gender. This Saturday’s repellent demonstration in Edinburgh by the racists of the Scottish Defence League could not be worse timed.

"The white supremacist Tarrant who carried out the recent murderous attacks in Christchurch issued a manifesto containing Islamophobic statements, wild conspiracy theories etc, exactly the type of material seen on SDL social media.

“The suspected Christchurch killer was active online among groups of far right Nazis. We cannot afford to allow his British counterparts to be on our streets unopposed. The solidarity and respect to all faiths shown by so many in New Zealand will be at the heart of the Unite Against Fascism counter protest. There will be speakers from Edinburgh Muslim groups, politicians from across the political spectrum, trade unions etc."

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The Muslim Women’s Association of Edinburgh said: “Our wonderfully supportive Edinburgh community responded with thoughtful messages of condolence and solidarity earlier this week at a vigil for the Christchurch mosques attacks.

“We know from experience that this response is more representative of how we work together in Edinburgh and indeed throughout Scotland.

“Now more than ever, this is necessary in Edinburgh against the SDL as we see a rise of the far right globally.”

Feminist and race equality campaigner Talat Yaqoob said: “Groups like the SDL purposely misrepresent important issues as a means to pedal and mask their racism, bigotry and Islamophobia.”

Scottish Greens justice spokesperson John Finnie MSP said: “Andrew Graystone should be commended for his act of kindness. Social media companies have a responsibility to remove blatant hate speech from their platforms.”

SNP MSP Fulton MacGregor said: “Now is the time to unite to ensure that racism, bigotry, sectarianism and religious hatred are never allowed to go unchallenged in Scotland, or anywhere else.”

A spokesperson for Stand Up To Racism Scotland said: “The National has done a great service highlighting these despicable comments.

“At a time when all civilised people all over the world are standing in sorrow and solidarity with the victims of the Christchurch shooting, with their families and the worldwide Muslim community, it is outrageous that these fascist thugs are glorifying the shooter’s actions.”