When the Al Noor Mosque Imam (community and religious leader) Gamal Fouda spoke to a crowd of thousands at Hagley Park one week following the horrific terror attack on Muslims praying peacefully in Ōtautahi (Christchurch) he said:
“I stood in this mosque and saw hatred and rage in the eyes of the terrorist who killed 50 people, wounded 48 and broke the hearts of millions around the world. Today, from the same place I look out and I see the love and compassion in the eyes of thousands of fellow New Zealanders and human beings from across the globe who fill the hearts of millions.”
And he was right. While March 2019 was full of sorrow for the precious lives that were taken away, in the wake of heinous terrorism, we also saw an outpouring of solidarity with the Muslim community from all around Aotearoa New Zealand.
70,000 people signed our petitions for gun law reform, and the government banned most semi-automatic weapons.
Tens of thousands of New Zealanders chipped in small and large donations, collectively raising almost 10 million dollars for victims, their families, and the Muslim community.
Thousands of people formed human chains of solidarity around mosques to protect those praying during Jumu’ah (Friday prayer).
Tens of thousands of us attended vigils to share tears, sing waiata (songs) and hear from Muslim community leaders.
It is our collective response of love and unity that must continue to guide us to creating a more just and inclusive Aotearoa for all people. While our collective efforts helped change our gun laws for good, there is more work to do to eradicate the ideology of white supremacy that motivated the man who opened fire on our Muslim whānau.
ActionStation is committed to doing all we can to build a country and world of peace, love and acceptance.
A quick note from our team: Around Aotearoa and the world there is a small but committed group of people who donate to ActionStation every month. They are some of the unseen heroes in these stories who nurture our campaigns from the moment they spark into existence to the moment they win.
If you feel moved after reading about what we achieved together, please consider setting up a regular contribution.
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