ACOFI Statement in response to
the Christchurch Terror Attack:
Friday 15/03 stands to be one of, if not the most devastating days for the Muslim community and there is no doubt that what unfolded has affected many New Zealanders. Our very own African community has lost some of our brothers and sisters in this horrendous hate crime. It’s appalling that people should be fearful of losing their lives in their place of worship, in a place they consider to be their home and for some a place that they have sought refuge in, after the horrors they’ve left behind.
On behalf of the African community, we offer our sincere prayers, thoughts and deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims. May the innocent souls of these victims rest in peace. We continue to condemn racism, islamophobia, white supremacy and any form of discriminatory attitudes and actions. To our African brothers and sisters, we know this is a tough time. ACOFI is here for you. If you are concerned about whanau and friends in Christchurch or just feel shaken, please contact us. We will get you help.
It’s encouraging to see such a united and compassionate response from New Zealand and those who empathise abroad. This incident is not something we have seen in many years, here in New Zealand. As much as we can say ‘This Is Not New Zealand’, regrettably, it actually is. Every time we let freedom of speech and discriminatory actions by racists and intolerant people go unchallenged, we allow them to manifest into hate crimes and escalate into a tragedy like this. It’s almost been a year since we had a race relations commissioner or sound legislation.
Standing in solidarity at a time like this is imperative but so is speaking up, speaking out and challenging attitudes before they reach this extent. Sadly, this IS New Zealand, and we have now seen it at its worst. We urge you to listen to victims but also to speak up, speak out and challenge perpetrators. At all times. That is solidarity.
Kia Kaha, New Zealand.
Join us this Friday to honour these victims here.