Civil rights icon John Lewis after New Zealand mosque attacks: 'We cannot sow seeds of hatred'
© Greg Nash

Civil rights icon Rep. John LewisJohn LewisLiberals surprised by tax vote vow to kill 'Free File' provision House passes bill to modernize IRS The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump looks to get tougher on border with Nielsen out MORE (D-Ga.) condemned the mass shootings at two New Zealand mosques Friday that left at least 49 people dead and dozens injured.

The veteran Democratic lawmaker said society can’t “sow seeds of hatred and division” following Friday's attack.

“If we are to build a society at peace with itself, we cannot sow seeds of hatred and division. Hate is too heavy a burden to bear, love is the only way,” Lewis wrote on Twitter Friday evening.

Lewis wrote that he was “overwhelmed by sadness” in a separate post following the massacre.

The civil rights leader previously served as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in the 1960s and led a voting rights march from Selma, Ala., to Montgomery alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle were quick to condemn Friday's shooting, which has been dubbed one of the deadliest shooting attacks in decades.

The apparent hate crime in New Zealand sent shockwaves across the globe and put many mosques on high alert, with a number of them adding heightened security for Friday prayers.

The suspect in the attack wrote in a lengthy manifesto that he supported President TrumpDonald John TrumpImpeachment? Not so fast without missing element of criminal intent Feds say marijuana ties could prevent immigrants from getting US citizenship Trump approval drops to 2019 low after Mueller report's release: poll MORE “as a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose” but not as a “policy maker and leader.”

Officials say the suspected shooter has been charged with murder.