Let Me Tell You What New Zealand Is…

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Assalaamu’alaikum wr. wb.

Source: Wellington Islamic Centre Facebook Page

It’s been hard. Really hard. It’s Day 2 and I still found it hard to process everything that has happened in New Zealand the past 2 days.

Yesterday, March 15th 2019, as PM Jacinda Ardern said, was one of New Zealand’s darkest days. Definitely mine as well. Never in anyone’s wildest dream a terror attack would take place in one of the safest country in the world.

I’m really hurt. Truly heartbroken. Utterly devastated. Today my body is here in Indonesia celebrating my sister in law’s wedding. But my heart, mind and soul flying thousand kms away.

I could never understand why this horrific event happened in this beautiful country. What I and every Kiwis do know is, that this attack and every negative thing related to it IS NOT New Zealand.

This attack IS NOT, AND WILL NEVER BE NEW ZEALAND.

As a moslem woman who lived in NZ for almost 6 years, please allow me tell you what New Zealand is, based on some of my memorable interactions with non moslem Kiwis…

For me,

NZ is a stranger on the street greeting you with Assalaamu’alaikum or Eid Mubarak, recognizing you’re a moslem woman.

NZ is your mom friend complimenting your modest clothes and your beautiful hijab, or scarf as she then said.

NZ is your daughter’s classmate’s mom asking what your daughter’s dietary food is for a birthday party reference, knowing too well your family is only eating halal food.

NZ is your Playcentre friends allowing you to do shalat/prayer in the office during the parent meeting break.

NZ is local authorities allowing church to be converted in to masjid. And allowing moslem communities to use school halls or community centres as a religious gathering place.

NZ is your daughter’s school principal announcing that there will be halal sausages on the school barbeque day.

NZ is your midwife making sure all the staff in the hospital delivery ward you’re dealing with are woman, as per your request.

NZ is your daughter’s kindergarten teacher asking you when is the next Mosque Open Day, and coming there with a big heart and an open mind.

NZ is your dearest friend/neighbour (who knows you no longer live there) laying down flowers and candles in your family name in front of the mosque, as a form of condolence related to the recent attack.

NZ is Kiwis supporting other moslem residents in any form possible following the recent attack. To convince and remind them that moslem whanau (family) are welcome and loved in NZ.

NZ is ALL its people, no matter what their race, religions and beliefs.

And this recent incident will only show the world what the real New Zealand is, as quoted in its anthem,

In the bonds of LOVE we meet

New Zealand, IS LOVE.

Kia Kaha my love. Stay strong, Aotearoa. ❀❀

Wassalaamu’alaikum wr. wb.

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