March 17, 2019

Terror in New Zealand: Grotesque display of violent racism

Published on Indian Newslink

Business and Community Leaders condemn Christchurch murders

Auckland, March 16, 2019

A Message on the wall of Botanical Gardens in Christchurch (RNZ Picture by Dan Cook)

Heads of prominent organisations and community leaders have expressed their horror over the Christchurch massacre and pledged their support and assistance to the New Zealand government and to the Muslim community.

Following are a few received by Indian Newslink.

Indian Association (Manukau) New Zealand 
Veer Khar, President

Indian Association of New Zealand (IANZ) strongly condemns the killings in Christchurch and stands with the victims of this barbaric act of violence. The Association requests its members to keep vigil and provide support to the affected families.

IANZ officials took stock of the situation and were very appreciative of the NZ Police for their speedy action in Christchurch and also for proactively communicating with wider population in other areas.

IANZ is totally supportive of the Prime Minister (Jacinda Ardern) whose message was quick and clear. We believe that religious conversions and even converting religious centres can trigger a feeling of intimidation and even exploitation.

This, coupled with separate religious schools, individual’s racial bias and immigration pressures can act as fertile grounds for the sponsors to breed morons like the Christchurch killers.

It is all such catalysts that we, the people of New Zealand will have to analyse and respond, IANZ, volunteers to be a part of any such dialogue and believes that only a decisive action can save routine mourning.

We share the grief of all New Zealanders.

New Zealand Asian Leaders
Mai Chen, Chairperson

I am immensely saddened by this grotesque display of violent racism and intolerance but we are not immune from racist, hate attacks here. New Zealand has a very high ranking in the Global Peace index, but we can take nothing for granted.

Some New Zealanders of different ethnicities experience racism in this country every day and it is not alright. As the superdiversity of our country continues to increase, the challenges of melding a population of over 200 different ethnicities needs to be carefully considered.

I cannot imagine the vulnerability and grief the Muslim community is experiencing now. They did nothing wrong. Yet they have been killed and injured.

The only hope from this terrible situation is the universal condemnation and outrage at what has happened. This confirms the pride we feel in calling New Zealand home because of the shared value of respect and dignity for every person regardless of colour, race and religion.
New Zealanders need to continue to strengthen a culture which condemns the racism faced by ethnic minorities and refugees just because of their different culture, language and religion. The migrant and refugee community will continue to be committed kiwis contributing to this country.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the victims.

Mai Chen is also Chairperson, Superdiversity Institute for Law Policy and Business, Chairperson, Superdiverse Women and Managing Partner, Chen Palmer Partners.

Waitakere Indian Association
Sunil Kaushal, Vice-President & PR Director

The Waitakere Indian Association (WIA) unequivocally condemns the terrorist attack on the Muslims brothers and sisters, performing their Friday Prayer yesterday (March 15, 2019) at the Linwood and Deans Avenue mosque, in the City of Christchurch.

As the authorities continue to deal with what is an unprecedented and abhorrent event for New Zealand, Waitakere Indian Association stands and extends our sincere condolence to the Muslim community. Our compassionate thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims and those who have been traumatized here in New Zealand and around the world.

WIA appreciates the bravery of the New Zealand Police, St John, Christchurch Hospital and the neighbours of the Mosque.

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.