Fifty people died in an act of terror at the Masjid Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Masjid Mosque in Christchurch last Friday. The Times spoke with members of the Muslim Community on how they are feeling since the attack.
“Insha Allah (If God wills so).
We as a community and New Zealand as a nation will come out of this tragedy better and stronger.
Through our actions, our efforts and our behaviour towards each other in NZ we will defeat the evil plots of these Islamophobic terrorists, their supporters and their populist global leaders.
Through our united action as a community and as a nation, we will not only overcome this national and global tragedy but, God willing, New Zealand will become a shining example of love, unity and acceptance for the rest of the world.
I deliberately choose the word ‘acceptance’ instead of tolerance because tolerance means putting up with something you don’t really want to whereas acceptance shows we open our hearts to you as you are, despite whatever differences we may have.
We are all children of God and part of all humanity. We must accept each other as such.
We were first as a nation to give the vote to women, the first to adopt anti-nuclear legislation and in the same tradition, we will be the leaders in showing the way in defeating Islamophobic terrorism.
Let us rise from this tragedy to make this a better world. Let us work together to show how love truly overcomes hate.
Let us in New Zealand, people of all religions, races and ethnicities in our true Kiwi spirit, really show the world the way forward. We cannot only heal but grow together for a better nation, a better tomorrow.
Let us truly live the message enshrined in our national anthem:
“God of nations at thy feet
In the bonds of love we meet.
Hear our voices we entreat,
God defend our free land…
“From dissension, envy, hate.
And corruption guard our state,
Make our country good and great,
God defend New Zealand…
“Preaching Love and Truth to man
Working out Thy glorious plan
God defend New Zealand.”
We are truly one.
Chairman – East Auckland Islamic Trust
Masjid Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq, Pakuranga