New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said at a memorial service marking the two-year anniversary of the attacks on Christchurch mosques that the country has a duty to support the Muslim community.
On March 15, 2019, 51 people were killed and dozens were injured in indiscriminate firing by two heavily armed men at two Christchurch mosques.
Hundreds of people attended the memorial service, which was held under tight security, according to foreign news agencies.
The ceremony called for the names of all those killed and praised the efforts of police and medical personnel who rushed to the scene after the attack.
A survivor, who was shot nine times in the face, hands and feet, vividly remembers the moment when he was waiting for medical help with three-year-old Mokad Ibrahim’s father and found out that the baby was dead.
The Prime Minister of New Zealand, who sympathized with the survivors of the attack and the families of the victims of the shooting, was widely praised and took immediate steps to tighten firearms control in the country. “No words can heal these wounds,” she said.
“Men, women and children have been taken away from us in this act of terrorism. Words cannot eradicate the fear that has taken root in the hearts of the Muslim community,” she said.
“We must make ourselves a united nation from this incident, a nation that is proud of and accepts our diversity and can defend it strongly when the time comes,” said Jacinda Arden.
“The March 15 incident will undoubtedly be our legacy and will hurt our hearts, but it is not too late to unite ourselves,” she said.
“The best revenge is not to be like the enemy,” said Kiran Munir, wife of Haroon Mahmood, who was killed in the attack.
Brenton Tarrant, an Australian-born white terrorist who attacked Christchurch’s Al Noor and Linwood Islamic Center mosques, was arrested by New Zealand police the same day as he allegedly proceeded to attack the third mosque.
The next day, the terrorist was charged and prosecuted, and after a year of legal proceedings, he was sentenced on August 27 this year to the worst sentence in New Zealand history.
The court had sentenced terrorist Brenton Taranto to life imprisonment, while also making it clear that there was no term of life imprisonment for the terrorist, in other words, he was ordered to be kept in jail till death.