New Zealand Prime Minister Sets the Example for Addressing Terrorism

On Friday, March 15, 2019, in Christchurch, New Zealand, an Australian gunman shot 50 worshippers in two mosques. In contrast to the other political leaders who felt confused and provided notoriety to their terrorists, the New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern firmly led her nation in depriving the terrorist of any publicity. The US former President George W. Bush’s reaction to the 9/11 terrorist attacks made a-Qaeda a household brand. Additionally, the 2017 Las Vegas shooter who killed 58 people and injured over 850 wasn’t called a terrorist because he was a white man, likewise he was given notoriety. The media’s focus remained on him rather than his victims. He received notoriety that millions of dollars couldn’t have bought. A few days later, the US President Donald Trump briefly visited some of the victims and the first responders.
“He sought many things from his act of terror, but one is notoriety,” Prime Minister Ardern said after the attack in reference to the terrorist who struck New Zealand. “And that is why you will never hear me mention his name. He is a terrorist. He is a criminal. He is an extremist. But he will, when I speak, be nameless.” 
In this tragedy, the victims happened to be Muslims. For her, it didn’t matter who the victims were regardless of religion, sex, race, nationality... Senseless violent tragedy has no honor. Respect and honor to the assaulted and loving compassionate support for ALL survivors in mourning remains appropriate. She made the terrorist(s) nameless and attended to the victims.
By her actions, she demonstrated her knowledge of world affairs and her mental strength to stay calm and fair. She challenged bigotry, and united her nation as well as millions of others across the world. She became a symbol of compassion and love. She brought together the teachings of all masters that we are all one. When one of us hurts, we are all hurting whether or not we are aware.
It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack,” Ms. Ardern said. Although being white, she didn’t hesitate and confidently called the killer a terrorist. She bravely led her nation through the worst terrorist act in her country. She moved the focus away from the terrorist, made him nameless, and put attention on the victims. She showed compassion and humility unseen among the modern political leaders. She hugged and cried with the victims and their families. She personally provided solemn sympathy to them in the mosques, the Parliament, and funeral processions. Her courage and determination lifted her nation to a new height. Unlike other political leaders who would be forgotten soon after their terms, she is embossed in the minds of her nation and the world as well. Thus, she put an example for other political leaders to follow in facing terrorist attacks.

Dr. Mehdi Alavi, President

Peace Worldwide Organization

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