New Zealanders call for solemnity after a day of terror

New Zealanders call for solemnity after a day of terror

Anger and anxiety turn to solidarity and prayer

Venkat Raman

Auckland, March 16, 2019

Thousands gathered in Auckland’s CBD this afternoon to mourn the victims of the Christchurch mosque shootings. Photo for RNZ by Jogai Bhatt

The death of Forty-nine innocent men and women (and a child) in Christchurch Mosques yesterday (Friday) and the anxiety over a large number of people injured, some of them fighting for their life, has touched the heart of New Zealanders.

We are a caring nation, and there is no evidence of any root of terrorism amongst us.

We are a tolerant society, home to more than 220 ethnicities and there has never been any sign of intended harm; we may have occasionally felt a tinge of racism here and there, but never to a scale that would lead to massacre.

We live in a corner of the world, untouched by terrorists.

Until yesterday.

And until yesterday, we thought that much of terrorism in the world is inflicted only by a group of people.

But hatred, terrorism and a penchant for mass murder apparently exists elsewhere.

The mindless shooting of Muslims in Christchurch has taken away the innocence to which New Zealand was once famous.

It has also brought us all closer together. We have begun to speak, in one tone, that there should be no room for such terrorists on our soil.

Indian Newslink will continue to bring the views of people as they get to us.

Simon Bridges

Leader, National Party

Our country is in mourning, and my heart goes out to the people of Christchurch.

The events of yesterday were an unprovoked attack on the very freedoms we hold dear, and we condemn those who would use violence and atrocity against our fellow brothers and sisters.
To the victims, their families and friends, and the wider community, know that we stand with you. We share your pain, grief, and outrage that this has happened to you in your home.

No one in our country should live in fear. No matter their race, religion or beliefs.

Terrorism and extremism have no place in New Zealand, and together we will defend the Kiwi values of peace, compassion, and hope that we all share. We stand ready to support the Government in any way we can.

I want to pay tribute to the hardworking emergency services on the ground in Christchurch, particularly the New Zealand Police, St John Ambulance, and hospital staff. Your bravery represents the very best of our country in our time of need.

For those that need any assistance, I urge you to get in touch with the mental health helpline ‘Need to Talk’ by calling 0800 1737 1737 or texting 1737, or by calling Victim Support on 0800 842 846.

A give-a-little page has also been setup to support the victims of the attack,

Please take this time to talk with family, check on your neighbours, and reach out to friends. The safety, security, and support of our community is paramount.

Naveed Hameed

President, Pakistan Association of New Zealand

We are deeply saddened and disturbed by the attack on the Muslim  community, targeted while at Prayer. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families, shattered by this heinous crime. 

We  condemn this terrorist attack on Muslims and their places of worship. We call upon the government and all communities to be vigilant in  combating hatred against minorities, knowing that prejudice and  intolerance pose imminent threat to innocent lives.

When one is attacked, we are all attacked, the whole social fabric of the society comes under attack. We have  been in constant contact with the New Zealand Police and have been assured that they are doing their best to manage the crisis.

Bashir Khan

President Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

As developments continue to flow regarding the terrible shooting in the Mosques in Christchurch, and the reports of multiple deaths; our thoughts and prayers go out to all our Muslim brothers and sisters, and the residents of Christchurch who have been directly and indirectly affected.

It goes without saying that today has been one of the darkest days in the history of New Zealand. We can only imagine what the families and friends of those who have lost their lives or those who have been injured, are going through. As a community committed to peace and rejection of all forms of extremism, we stand shoulder to shoulder with all those affected, and would like to offer our full and unconditional support to them.

Ikhlaq Kashkari

President, New Zealand Muslim Association

We all share the sorrow from this tragedy and urge all New Zealanders to stay calm and united. We cannot allow these types of people divide our community.

Vinod Kumar

President The Hindu Council of New Zealand

The Hindu Council of New Zealand (HCNZ) joins other New Zealanders in condemning the terrorist attack on the Muslims brothers and sisters, performing their Friday Prayer at the Deans Avenue Mosque and at the Linwood Avenue mosque in the City of Christchurch.

It has been confirmed that there are 49 fatalities with many others injured.

As the authorities continue to deal with what is an unprecedented and abhorrent event for New Zealand, HCNZ extend our sincere condolence to the Muslim community.

Our compassionate thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims here in New Zealand and around the world.  

As New Zealanders we stand together as a proud nation of more than 200 migrant communities, sharing the common values. No act of terrorism will divide us.

Anne Pala

Ambassador for Peace, Universal Peace Federation

All of New Zealand is in shock and deeply hurt today, the most horrible act of terror has taken place in a place of worship in Christchurch. This has been called a terrorist attack by our Prime Minister. Let us stand united as communities and societies.

Baljit Kaur  

Coordinator, Waitakere Ethnic Board & West Auckland NewComers Network

Great sadness and overwhelming disbelief has surrounded us with the events that have unfolded today. The Waitakere Ethnic Board stands in solidarity and support of the victims and their families. Not to mention all of our Muslim brothers and sisters and the nation as a whole. A worrying concern for the powers that be, as to what will happen now, and in the future. New Zealand has now become an international target, because haters will always hate. We are afraid that this tragedy will now trigger someone else from another group in retaliation. My dear country, things will never be the same again.

Dr S Ajit

Rotary Papatoetoe Central Club

All of us feel this is the most tolerant and multicultural country in the world and it is sad that this kind of hatred taking root in our country.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families who have lost loved ones.

Rotary has always worked to promote unity in the community and we will continue to put our efforts into ensuring New Zealand remains a tolerant society that embraces and celebrates its differences.

Raj Pardeep & Ashima Singh

Barristers & Solicitors, Legal Associates

We condemn the massacre of our community members while praying in Mosques in Christchurch. It was a cowardly action. We as New Zealanders stand together at this difficult time, Friday, March 15, 2019 will be the darkest day in our country’s history.

Anthony Ravlich

It has been described as one of the darkest days by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern who said all New Zealanders would be shocked.

However, it did not shock me. New Zealand is very likely to be in denial and I anticipate that some sections of the liberal mainstream media will hide many likely causes.

My recent book, ‘Ethical Human Rights: Freedom’s Great Hope’ (American Academic Press, 2017) describes a dark side to New Zealand. For example. I made a stand on principle and described to the High Court Judge a New Zealand tragedy with many ‘crushed and isolated.’

Radio New Zealand reported the following just we are about to post this story:

Events are being cancelled and victims are being mourned, but New Zealanders have gathered together around the country today, calling for love in the face of hatred.

Public vigils are being held across NZ and flowers are being left near the scene of yesterday’s shootings.

Forty-nine people were killed and 42 are in hospital after the shootings at the Al Noor Mosque on Deans Avenue in Riccarton and the Linwood mosque in Christchurch.

More Police to Christchurch

Dozens more police are being deployed to Christchurch and there is a heightened police presence around the country, including at mosques and community events.

The dead include a 5-year-old girl and her father who were chased by the gunman and shot.

Another show of oneness in Auckland (RNZ Picture by Ellie Jay)

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