The Tragedy of New Zealand

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March 27, 2019 by thewashingteenian

by Maysa Haj-Mabrouk, Staff Writer

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My people were massacred on March 15, 2019 in Christchurch, New Zealand.

I had and have no direct connections to anyone who was murdered or harmed, but the threads in my heart still tug and threaten to fall apart every time the event crosses my mind. A hate filled, loathing, tar black ideology that led to the tragedy that befell peaceful individuals seeking worship in their benevolent Lord.

It has been some time since the shooting – enough time for the shock to wear off most people – but my mind still revolves and rotates around it. I cannot go through a day with being brought to tears by the sheer animosity of the occurrences that took hold that day in the two mosques during Jummah prayer. One of the most blessed times during the week, the day where hundreds of Muslims all over cities gather at the mosque to kneel in unison and pray to God for help, gratitude, lamentation, etc. Why, of all moments, the most peaceful time most Muslims feel during the week, was the silence and prayer disturbed by blazing bullets and relentless attack?

They say the perpetrator had multiple guns and bombs. The attack was not just to make a statement. It was to exterminate Muslims and immigrants.

The politics of the situation is detrimental in understanding the nature of the attack, but it is not just that which makes the situation so daunting. It is the sheer fact that a someone, a human, was able to so willingly and eagerly murder women, men, children, the elderly, adolescents, in the name of implementing and protecting an extremist state that appealed to him and others like him. What does this say about humanity? Is our nature to fight, with bullets, for what we believe in? Is this the true state of our world?

I feel sick writing. I feel sick thinking. I feel especially sick talking about it. Images of the martyred plague my mind constantly and I keep going back every time I find myself in silence or contentment.

I want things to change. It’s past the point of protest and strong willed discussion. I am past the point of rolling my eyes at blatant displays of Islamophobia and laughing off ignorant comments. I am past all of that. I am exhausted of proving myself to people who believe that based on my belief alone, I am a monster or that I condone the actions of extremists. The only response you will get out of me is a passionate response and hot tears. I am angry and upset. I am tired and yet will continue to defend myself. That is the only way I can protect myself and my people, and the only way I can help secure a safe future for everyone, Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

I wish everyone would take a moment and reflect on what this massacre unveils. Yes, it was a shooting, but as with other events like this, there is always an underlying message and reason for why it happened. And it is not until everyone begins to understand the true, raw nature of these types of occurrences that we begin to see a real shift in belief and solidarity.

Salam.

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