|L'ASSOCIATION DES MUSULMANS PROGRESSITES DU CANADA|
ASSOCIATION OF PROGRESSIVE MUSLIMS OF CANADA
ADDRESS DELIVERED BY MRS. AMY TISDALL AT THE 24TH ANNUAL EID-UL-FITR
CELEBRATIONS AT PARLIAMENT HILL ON JUNE 13, 2019
As salaam alaikum. Peace be upon you. And peace be upon all of us.
Tēnā koutou, tēnā
koutou, tēnā tātou katoa.
Thank you for the invitation to speak to you
Time is a funny thing. It can stand still, and it
can race by.
On Saturday it will be three months since Friday
March 15th - a day which changed New Zealand.
When a terrorist attempted to tear our community
apart, and incite fear and hatred.
When our Muslim brothers and sisters were attacked
in a callous and violent terrorist attack against two mosques in
Fifty-one people were murdered. Forty-nine were
wounded. Our world was changed.
This was an attack that affected Muslims most
directly: innocent people who were killed as they practiced their religion
– a religion which espouses peace and harmony – and who did so in the
rightful expectation that their places of worship were sacrosanct, and
New Zealand is a peace loving nation.
Our diversity is something we value and celebrate. This terrorist
attack strikes against our core values.
In a country that practices religious tolerance, an
attack on one of us, observing their beliefs, is an attack on all of us.
Muslims are a part our community: our friends, our colleagues, our
neighbours. They are us.
As a New Zealander I am heartbroken about what
But I am also proud of the way my government and my
fellow New Zealanders have responded.
Across the length and breadth of the country there
has been a profound and genuine sense of grief and loss.
overwhelming response of New Zealanders has been revulsion at, and
rejection of, the attacker; and expressions of sympathy and support for
the innocent victims.
have embraced their Muslim neighbours.
They laid flowers at mosques up and down the country.
Tens of thousands have attended vigils.
They stood guard outside during prayers.
terrorist may have tried to incite hatred and division within NZ. But he
has failed, and the opposite has happened. He failed because the
terrorist’s thoughts are not our thoughts, and his extremist ways are
not our ways.
attacker, who was not from New Zealand, will face the full force of New
Zealand law. He has been
charged with engaging in a terrorist act, murder, and attempted murder.
police have mounted the largest investigation in the history of New
Zealand. The families of the victims will have justice.
than one week after the attack, our Government introduced new, strict gun
will not remember the terrorist. As
my Prime Minister has made clear, we will not use his name.
we will remember the victims. We
are unified in our mourning with the families. We will remember those who
have been lost from our communities. We
will support those who lives have been permanently scarred.
will celebrate the many acts of bravery that took place on 15 March:
including those who risked their lives to save those of others.
our world changed on the 15th of March, New Zealand’s
essential character has not and will not.
Zealand is and will remain a safe and open society; a place where all
communities and all visitors feel comfortable and secure.
We are a compassionate, tolerant people.
horrific attack will not shake those core values, because this is who New
know that the incident has had a profound effect not just in New Zealand
but around the world, including here in Canada.
We have been overwhelmed by the messages of
sympathy, of support and solidarity that have come from our friends all
across the world.
We have been humbled to have the global Muslim
community standing with us in our bleakest hour.
In Canada, the support has been incredibly
generous. You share our core
values; way of life. You share
In the days following the terrorist attack, I had
the honour of spending many hours greeting the large numbers of Canadians
who came to sign the condolence book at our High Commission.
The prayers, the vigils, and memorials across
Canada have also demonstrated this support.
I would also like to thank all of you for your
support. This means a lot to
Speaking personally, there is no way to feel
further away from home, than to have to watch an attack like Christchurch
from half a world away. But it has been made easier by having such strong
support from Canada and Canadians.
Looking ahead, New Zealand is committed to doing
everything we can to stop an attack like Christchurch ever happening
Violent extremism has no race, religion or colour.
It must be condemned, whatever form it takes.
We will also work to confront the way social media
can be used to spread terrorist and violent extremist content
Just under a month ago, New Zealand was pleased to
co-host the Christchurch Call with France on May 15th.
The objective of the Christchurch Call is clear:
Eliminating terrorist and violent extremist content online, while
maintaining a free, open and secure internet
Canada has been one the strongest proponents for
action. PM Trudeau was one of a select group of world leaders to
participate in the Paris meeting.
Our governments, tech companies, and civil society,
have committed to work together to eliminate terrorist and violent
extremist content online.
Today, tomorrow and into the future, we must stand
together in addressing and eradicating the hate-filled ideologies that led
to this attack.
Again, I thank you for your love, your prayers, and
Shukran. As salaam Alaikum.
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