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Dear Ms. Ardern,
Thank you for reminding us that we can always choose to respond differently, and that choice rests with us only. Muslims comprise only 1% of New Zealand’s population. Roughly half of the population is Christian. Nevertheless, I watch you calling them all your own, while the world watches and learns a lesson on inclusion.
The kindness and empathy you have extended to the Muslim community are being resonated throughout your country. You are leading the people of New Zealand by your example. I have never seen such an overwhelming act of solidarity and compassion as is being displayed by the people of your country. As they pull on headscarves and stand outside our mosques while we pray, they have set the bar high for what unity means.
I read on the news that a call for prayer was broadcasted on national television. Yet I haven’t come across a single post by a native complaining how these acts are threatening his religion or his sense of identity. I cannot fathom the maturity needed for this as a country.
In acknowledging the pain of the Muslim community in Christchurch, you have put humanity first. In choosing to see them, you have, in fact, chosen to see us all. As the years go by, we will be haunted by this brutal act of terror but it is your compassionate demeanor that will emerge as the focal point. Brenton Tarrant will only be a nameless, faceless figure who was denied the notoriety he had craved.
This sad tragedy that has left so many families mourning, has been followed by an act of great bravery and character on your part. In calling a spade a spade, you have us all wondering why other leaders in the world choose to beat around the bush when confronted with the same. It’s in times of peril that we find out who we are. And you Ms. Ardern, have emerged as everything that is right with the world right now.
You have successfully shifted the focus from that deranged killer to this incredible show of inclusion and empathy towards Muslims. You are the hope for a better tomorrow, a tomorrow where humanity prevails.
“We are one”.