‘The nation is behind us’: New Zealand shares pain of Christchurch Muslims

One week after massacre, deputy mayor describes a town in sicken but feels legacy will be one of greater understanding

Andrew Turner

It began to drizzle as Hati Mohemmed Daoud Nabi was laid to rest in the freshly dug earth of Memorial park cemetery in Christchurch.

The 71 -year-old was the fifth to be embed on Thursday. Six periods earlier, he was the first to die when he held open the door of Masjid Al Noor on Dean Avenue in Christchurch and saluted a stranger with:” Hello, friend .”

That stranger is now in custody, pending indictments for 50 counts of carnage for onslaughts on Masjid Al Noor and a second mosque on Linwood Avenue. It is the worst terrorist attack in the country’s history. The youngest casualty was only 3 years old. As of Thursday, 28 of the 42 injured stayed in hospital.

The attack was motivated by animosity of Muslims, but its result was an outpouring of adore and subsistence in a heartbroken country. Thousands of non-Muslims has now been attended a mosque for the first time; school students performed a haka for the fallen; non-Muslim ladies( including prime minister, Jacinda Ardern) donned headscarves; and across the commonwealth, New Zealanders pledged to form a human chain around mosques to protect those who prayed.

It likewise helped action. An hour after Daoud was hid, “ministers ” Jacinda Ardern banned the sale of military-style assault rifles, semi-automatic rifles and shotguns with a detachable magazine, and high-capacity magazines — the primary artilleries that police allege were used in the attack.

On Thursday evening more than 18,000 people attended a candlelit vigil for the victims in Dunedin, the second-biggest city on New Zealand’s South Island after Christchurch.

Answering the call to pray at Hagley Park, opposite Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday. Photograph: Martin Hunter/ AAP


The 28 -year-old Australian man suspected of the two attacks lived in Dunedin, 360 km south. He has been called in court, but Ardern has promised never to speak his figure .~ ATAGEND

On Friday, a few weeks after the murder, the Muslim call to prayer was providing information on national TV and radio in New Zealand followed by a two-minute silence. Outside Masjid Al Noor, a large mob gathered to observe the midday prayers. Later, 26 of the remaining martyrs were laid to rest in a mass burial.

Luul Ibrahim, whose little brother Mucad, 3, was among those interred, told me that she lived in Australia and had not been able to had the chance to meet her brother, adding” maybe one day I will fill him in heaven “.

From a podium about 200 metres from the mosque, Imam Gamal Fouda said New Zealand has proved itself “unbreakable” and called for action to stamp out Islamophobia and hate speech.

” Last Friday I stood in this mosque and hear hatred and rage in the eyes of the terrorist ,” he said.” Today from the same home I look out and I encounter the desire and tendernes in the eyes of thousands of New Zealanders and human being from around the globe .”

Ardern remained her speech brief, reciting an Islamic proverb then saying:” New Zealand mourns with you, we are one .”

At the end of the service, the crowd were offered a simple message in Te Reo Maori:” Aroha, aroha, aroha .” Love, cherish, love.

New Zealand “ministers ” Jacinda Ardern attends a meet for Friday prayers and a two-minute stillnes at Hagley Park in Christchurch. Picture: Marty Melville/ AFP/ Getty Images


At kitchen counters in Christchurch, quiet exchanges are happening between New Zealanders about whether they might have laughed off combating racism and detest lecture when they should have taken the risk of being grey patriotism seriously. In Australia those same exchanges have become mired in partisan political debate .~ ATAGEND

Everyone in Christchurch lives in readiness for the next big-hearted shake, but few- including powers- were prepared for this man-made disaster.

‘Why didn’t the enraged boy just ask why they pray ?’

Until 15 March, the idea of a rightwing terrorist attack in New Zealand was considered so unlikely by everyone except those directly exposed to anti-Muslim feeling that even security agencies missed the warning signs.

” I would hope to think one nasty bastard is not going to affect our country and how we think about ourselves ,” Christchurch woman Rachel McCormick says. She is at the public memorial outside the botanic gardens on Rolleston Avenue with two of their own children, delivering flowers and a content written by her five-year-old son.

The message reads:” Why didn’t the angry human just ask why they pray ?”

McCormick says the attack provoked” so many dialogues about Kiwi racism”, about dignity in Ardern’s compassionate performance as governor, and about gun control, although the latter is just an instant pronouncement of” entirely, 100% supporting “.

Christchurch City Council’s deputy mayor, Andrew Turner, says his home is still” a city in collapse” but there are “some questions that needed to be answered” about racism and intolerance in New Zealand.

” I would like to think that any bequest of this as far as possible can be positive ,” Turner says.” That it is contributing to a greater understanding of different religions, different communities, a greater stage of cultural awareness, and the absolute is essential to embracing the diversity in our wider community and likewise the need to be a voice and a region of therefore welcomed recent immigrants and refugees .”

According to the Mental Health Foundation’s Ciaran Fox, the committee is also shows the need to ensure that migrant communities and recent refugees are brought into the community networks that sprang up in response to the earthquake. Fox attributes the city’s resilience to those systems, which means that when calamity strikes Christchurch its 374,000 occupants” know how to be a community “.

That shows up in the flowers. The Rolleston Avenue monumental has been steadily growing since the afternoon of the two attacks to consider more than 100 metres of fenceline. It is fitted with contents of hope and condolence including the ubiquitous Te Reo affirmation “Kia kaha”, or stand strong. “Kia kaha” is written on a literal bale of olive branches; in chalk on the sidewalk; on paper chains make use of primary school students; across replicas of the New Zealand flag.

Every few metres a photo of one of the main victims sits between the mounds of floral homages and teddy abides. At one point there is a accumulation of futsal balls and footballs, a tribute to Atta Elayyan, 33, who is now the goalkeeper of the national men’s futsal squad, as well as Tariq Omar, 24, and Sayyad Milne, 14, who played for Maitland football club.

He thanks the broader community for the support services, saying:” The whole nation is behind us, the entire country is behind us, that’s the thing about Kiwis .”Shaheen says the level of community corroborate following the end of the two attacks renders her hope.

” People have been experiencing Muslims in a different way now and that’s something that we actually realize. Now we know that we are genuinely can be a part of this community ,” she says.







Read more: https :// www.theguardian.com/ world-wide/ 2019/ tainted/ 24/ the-nation-is-behind-us-new-zealand-shares-pain-of-christchurch-muslims

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