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Redefining a lot!

Posted in Featured, View Point

Published on March 23, 2019 with No Comments

In a press conference within 12 hour of the attack on the two Mosques in New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared to the nation, “they are us”, referring not just to the victims, but to all of New Zealand’s Muslims, and in her own simple way redefined compassion and justified the multiculturalism that New Zealand is known for. Also she has shown the courage and the wisdom that a statesman needs!

Her news conference and the statements have found her fans all around the world. She has asked the country to draw renewed attention to the cultivation of tolerance, multiculturalism and social cohesion. These ideals take constant effort and vigilance and must always be considered to be under threat. The horrific act was allegedly carried out by 28-year-old Australian Brenton in Christchurch on last Friday in which 50 people were killed and dozens more injured. The attacker carried out the attack while streaming it live on the Facebook, an unprecedented act that left the world aghast and thinking about his mindset. The attack on New Zealand’s Muslim Community left the nation shocked to its core. The nation is trying to come to terms with how such a tragedy could happen in a place like New Zealand that is known for its geographic remoteness and relative lack of historical conflict and that values ideals of multiculturalism, tolerance and social integration as its fundamental components.  New Zealand is one of the most multicultural, diverse and tolerant countries in the world –Especially in the country’s many urban centres, people of different ethnic and religious backgrounds regularly interact peaceably, as friends, co-workers, and family, and to witness that devastating act left certain questions that needed immediate  attention. She immediately addressed the laws on Gun Control and assured that it would happen, and it would  happen quickly. In the very first meeting held after the massacre the cabinet decided in principle to tighten gun ownership. And showing her commitment to the cause, she said that the details are still to be worked out but the changes will be announced in full within 10 days. Her decision deserves a due appreciation that it has come after the very first attack the country witnessed and more so, the gun laws in New Zealand are known to be the loosest in the world and efforts to change then have been embroiled in argument for years. Up till now the political will to change the law has been missing. However, the decision of the Cabinet with a time bound plan after a major setback would pave the way to change the law.

With an attempt to make sure, that such an attack is not repeated, Prime Minister Ardern has asked questions to the intelligence agencies about the Australian attacker and how he managed to sneak into the country despite his accumulation of a cache of high powered weapons. These questions are important as both Australian and New Zealand officials have said that attacker Tarrant was not under watch in either country, and had never come to the attention of police. That makes the matter even serious that the travel of such a person didn’t trigger any attention.  If the gunman’s 74-page manifesto and social media posts are to be believed, he was inspired by a thriving online ideological structure that recruits and radicalizes mostly men to save “Western civilization” from a foreign “invasion.” The action taken by the Prime Minister of New Zealand deserve to be applauded as the attack was on total unexpected lines. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been prompt, true to the cause and has a time bound plan to assure that such an act doesn’t take place again.


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