On 15th March, the world witnessed heart rending terrorist attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. A terrorist attack which appeared to be carried out by a national extremist. Streaming his video live on Facebook, he attacked and killed 50 innocent people.
Blood was shed, tears were shed, hearts we’re shattered and many families were broken. How hard would it have been for the families who lost their loved ones? The ones who went out to perform their prayer and didn’t come back home? The ones who left the house wearing pure, clean clothes which were soon covered with their own blood? How hard would it be for the little children who are to live in this world without the ones they lost? The wives who have to live without their husbands? Mothers who have to suffer the loss of their children? Sisters and brothers who have to cope up with the loss of their siblings?
Losing a family member is not easy, especially if they are snatched away from you brutally. The insensitivity, the inhumanity that people hold is beyond surprising. There were many comments and point of views regarding this terrorist attack and some even considered this act as a “job well done.” Pathetic, really.
Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, a humanitarian, visited the families involved in this attack to apologize and sympathize. Isn’t this exactly what a true leader should do? Refusing to even say the terrorist’s name, she won the hearts of many people around the world. “And to others, I implore you, speak the names of those who are lost, rather than the name of the man who took them. He may have sought notoriety, but we in New Zealand will give him nothing. Not even his name.”
A leader is not someone who blames the murderous attack of an extremist terrorist on the immigrants. This could be the most inhumane and barbaric thing anyone could even think of doing. Imagine telling the martyrs’ families that “The real cause of bloodshed on New Zealand streets today is the immigration program which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place.” How can someone have it in themselves to even contemplate this thought?
A true leader is someone who wants to see a global fight against racism after a terrorist attack. “So actually if we want to make sure that globally we are a safe and tolerant and inclusive world, we cannot think of this in terms of boundaries,” Ardern said. Putting an end to racism should be the top priority of any leader, not creating boundaries and blaming the victims. Paying for the funeral costs of the 50 slain, she donned a hijab to mourn with the country and pay respect to the Muslim friends and families while staying calm yet compassionate towards them. She shared the sorrow and grief with her country in the wake of the worst mass killing in New Zealand’s modern history.
“We represent diversity, kindness, compassion,” Jacinda Ardern said. “A home for those who share our values. Refuge for those who need it. And those values will not and cannot be shaken by this attack.” A true leader is someone who stays by the side of their people, not caring about their race and religion. A true leader is someone who shares the grief of the country. The loss of their people. Someone who sympathizes with their people. Jacinda Ardern is a true leader and to end terrorism and racism, we need more people like her as the leaders of our societies.