Christchurch. A community which resounds 'Te rangimarie'. Christchurch has a special place in our hearts and prayers. Two years on from a tragedy that shook us, yet we stand strong. We extend our aroha and Manaakitanga with our healing Muslim community. One message that has always held kiwis together- "we are one".
Jacinda addressed the vigil held at Hagely Park, "According to Muslim faith, the Prophet Mohammed, sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace be upon him), said the believers, in their mutual kindness, compassion and sympathy are just like one body,".
"When any part of the body suffers, the whole body feels pain. New Zealand mourns with you. We are one."
There remains so much more we can do as a community to ensure it doesn’t happen again. The most important is to become aware, raise awareness and to keep the conversation going around islamophobia and racism in New Zealand.
1. 51- Love, Peace & Unity by Glorious Islam Artists Muhammad Waqas and Sameera Waqas, on display at the Wellington Museum. The artwork beautifully represents a multicultural new zealand and pays respects to the 51 'shuhadaa' created to commemorate the 2nd anniversary.
2. A Peace Forum organised by the University of Auckland Muslim Association (MSA) for the youth join a panel discussion highlighting the unique experiences of the muslim community and to understand 'Peace- a universal theme'. The MSA stands a strong support for youth of the community.
3. The Foundation Against Islamophobia and Racism (FAIR) - An independent advocacy organisation established to record hate crime data and raise awareness on islamophobia and racism.
4. A children's book- 'Aya and the butterfly', written by Sr Maysoon Salama and published by the Ministry of Education. As released by Islamic Council for Women NZ, helps children understand the diverse kiwi culture, and come to terms with grief, cope with change, and build resilience.
Dear reader, we hope you can do your bit in raising awareness by being a part of your healing community. Stay kind, Aotearoa.
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