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Arden: We have a duty to help the Muslim community

The Prime Minister expressed her support for the Muslim community New Zealand, Jacinda Arden, during a moving ceremony marking the two-year anniversary of the attack on Christchurch Mosque, noting that the country has a “duty” to support it.

Hundreds of people attended the ceremony, which was held under heightened security, to honor the 51 people killed and dozens injured when a heavily armed man opened fire on two mosques on March 15, 2019.

Temel Atakokugu, who suffered nine injuries to his face, arms and legs, cried when he recalled waiting for first aid with his father, 3-year-old Muqaddah Ibrahim, when he learned the child had died.

“Suddenly the pain seemed insignificant to me,” he said.

Ardern, who was praised for the way she handled the attack but also for her immediate decision to tighten gun ownership in New Zealand, said the words “despite their ability to heal” would never change what had happened.

“Men, women and children (…) became the target of a terrorist attack. “The words will not erase the fear that has gripped the Muslim community,” the New Zealand prime minister said. He even added that the legacy of this attack should be “a nation without exclusions, a nation that is proud of the diversity of its citizens, that accepts it and, when necessary, strongly defends it.”

Kiran Munir, whose husband Sahid Harun Mahmoud was killed in the attack, said the best revenge was “not to become like the enemy. We learn to get up again with dignity and move forward as best we can. “

The attacker, Australian Brendon Tarant, a white supremacist, was arrested minutes after the attacks on al-Nur Mosque and the Lingwood Islamic Center.

He pleaded guilty to 51 counts of murder and 40 counts of attempted murder and terrorism. He was sentenced last year to life in prison without parole, a sentence imposed for the first time in New Zealand.

Last week, a 27-year-old man was arrested by police in Christchurch and charged with making threats against two identical mosques.

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