Aotearoa Vision Award 2019
- Kay Urlich
The Christchurch Terrorist Attack
We present the Aotearoa Vision Peace Award 2019 to the families of the Muslim Community
We are One-Heart Promoting the Ways of Resolution and Peace Through Integrity to Gender, Racial, and Financial Justice in Self - Relationships - Society - Business - Animal Welfare – Environment
On March 15th, 2019 a lone Australian gunman traveled from one mosque to another in Christchurch New Zealand killing precious little Mucad along with another 50 Muslim worshippers.
The gunman was soon arrested and is awaiting trial for murder.
Recently, Palestinian gunmen shot and killed Israeli citizens. Retaliation from Israel was equally swift except that instead of arresting the men and handing the matter over to the justice system, Israeli defense forces fired long-range missiles randomly into Gaza killing men, women, and children to which the Palestinian’s responded with further fire-power.
Needless to say, as people add new grievances to old hatreds in The Middle East there is more darkness and trauma engulfing its citizens.
So it begs the question, what are the differences in attitude between New Zealand and the Israeli/Palestinian responses to conflict?
And people of many faiths are suffering all over the world. It is not just that the Israeli and Palestinian people are consumed and alone in their suffering, Christians are also hurting says Giulio Meotti, "The differences in tone and nature between the condemnations of the Christchurch and Sri Lanka terrorist attacks are striking. After Christchurch, there was no hesitation about stating the religious backgrounds of the victims and directing emotion and affection towards Muslim communities. Politicians took no issue with categorizing the events in Christchurch as terrorism.”
"Where is the solidarity for Sri Lanka's Christians?" asked the British scholar Rakib Ehsan, a Muslim, which is examined by Meotti, in his article Annihilation of Christian Life and People: Where is the Outrage in the West? April 28, 2019.
"In contrast, the words 'terrorism' and 'Christianity', along with their associated terms, have so far failed to feature in much of the reaction to the attacks in Sri Lanka.”
Rakib Ehsan asked the right questions says Giulio, but it might be rephrased as “Where is the Western solidarity for Sri Lanka's murdered Christians?” In that, many people are suffering from violence.
We are asking a different question, that aside from religion what is the most dominant factor in all these crimes?
Because all sides have suffered horrific trauma and each has cause to retaliate and yet many have not.
We found that race or faith was not the main issue.
The common denominator in all these attacks is not that the perpetrators are Muslim or Jewish or Christian, or a lonely teenager killing their classmates, it is that they are male
- Why is it that the majority of the shooters are male? Sure there are the occasional female perpetrators of physical violence, but they are rare.
- Why is it that white male shooters are seldom called terrorists?
- Why is it there were no alarm bells ringing in NZ that would have caught the Christian gunman prior to his heinous acts?
The terrorist intent - no matter their race or religion - is to suck whole nations into their foul agenda
We understand that it is time to look at how we view male strength in the world. How we view peace-keeping and our neighbors' right to exist.
For this reason, we agree with the decision that the instigators of such heinous acts be given no platform to spread their hate as demonstrated by New Zealand but be tried individually for murder, not used as an excuse to inflame centuries-old hatreds where around the globe millions more innocent victims suffer.
With this in mind we ask:
- Does having a greater awareness of other people’s cultures and gender make a big difference in the response of a nation?
- Does having a compassionate Prime Minister make a difference to the response of a nation in its message to the perpetrators – any perpetrators?
Immediately after the Christchurch attack Jacinda Ardern (Aotearoa Vision Award recipient 2018) broke with tradition and donned the burqa in an act of solidarity within a grief-stricken population. In this powerful act, she did not condone the suppression of women but led a large part of the New Zealand public to express an outpouring of love, kinship, and unity through a time of profound shock and grief. The reason she says is,
“We are a proud nation of more than 200 ethnicities, 160 languages, and amongst that diversity, we share common values. And the one that we place currency on right now is our compassion and the support for the community of those directly affected by this tragedy and secondly, the strongest possible condemnation of the ideology of the people that did this. You may have chosen us, but we utterly reject and condemn you.”
The Prime Minister went on to ban the killer's name and photo from being published saying that we will give him nothing so that he gains no notoriety for his actions. She also took steps to ban the use of automatic weapons.
“We were not a target because we are a safe harbor for those who hate. We were not chosen for this act of violence because we condone racism, because we’re an enclave for extremism. We were chosen for the very fact that we are none of these things; because we represent diversity, kindness, compassion, a home for those that share our values, a refuge for those who need it. And those values, I can assure you, will not and cannot be shaken by this attack.” NewsHub
New Zealand did not use this horrible crime as an excuse to attack Australia or other Christian nations. Many faiths came together, such as a Christian scholar, Jewish Rabbi and Muslim Imam who met to discuss the issues in respect of their faiths in the aftermath of this horror. The people of New Zealand in their diversity expressed together their deepest sorrow for those who suffer as a result of the hatred of a few.
As the Muslim community in New Zealand continues to respond with grace and dignity in the midst of shock and despair, we present the families of the 51 victims of the Christchurch terrorist attack the Aotearoa Vision Award 2019.
We honor them along with the support of people in New Zealand for their Aroha (Love) and the contributions made toward global peace through non-reaction to violence: we pay tribute to those of goodwill no matter their religion, ethnicity or where they live in the world who are healing within the most heartbreaking of circumstances.
published 3 weeks before the terrorist attack.
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- 25 Aug 2022
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