A heartfelt message of compassion and tolerance has been resonating around the world following last Friday’s terrorist attack at 2 mosque in New Zealand.
“You failed to incite hatred, fear and despair in all of us.”
This was said in a post from a Singaporean woman who uses the Facebook name ‘Jinghan Naan’ that has since been shared over 50,000 times on Facebook with over 6,000 comments.
She makes direct references to Brenton Tarrant, the man charged with murder in connection with the mass shootings in Christchurch.
According to her, the terror act has helped bring people of different faiths together.
In her Facebook post she said: “Appreciate how you brought the churches and communities together to stand with us Muslims.
“Appreciate that you made countless New Zealanders come out of their homes to visit the mosques nearest to them with flowers and beautiful messages of peace and love.
“You have broken many many hearts and you have made the world weep. You have left a huge void.
“But what you also have done have brought us closer together. And it has strengthened our faith and resolve.”
We here at Neue will NOT be sharing the horrific video of the shooting that was live-streamed on Facebook.
The Brunei Government on Friday issued a statement via its ‘gov.bn’ social media account informing the public NOT TO SHARE “inappropriate material that contains elements of violence, as it potentially creates anxiety among the audience, in addition to creating undesirable responses and negative preconceptions on the cause of the incident”.
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The purpose of Neue writing this article is to restore faith in humanity during this difficult period.
#1. Keep Watch While You Pray
— Zia Salik (@Zia_Salik) March 15, 2019
A man from the United Kingdom who stood outside his local mosque to “keep watch” for Muslim worshippers as they prayed after the terror attack in New Zealand has been shared widely on Twitter.
When Andrew Graystone heard the disturbing news, he knew he wanted to respond with a message of ‘friendship’ in the face of fear.
Speaking to Metro, he said: “I woke up this morning and heard the terrible news about the mosques in New Zealand and I thought what it would feel like if you were a British Muslim going to Friday prayers today, wondering whether you would feel like you might be under attack.
“We can respond to these things with either fear or with friendship so I thought I would go to my local mosque and make it clear I saw the people there as friends.”
Andrew said he belongs to a local church in Levenshulme, Greater Manchester, so he has “lots of things in common” with Muslims in his community.
One of the heart-warming tweets that caught Neue’s attention was: “There is far more goodness in the world than we think.” – Mariyah Ali, @razor_sharpie
#2. Boy’s Selfless Birthday Wish
A nine-year-old boy from Auckland has won over the internet with a selfless wish for his birthday.
“I was going to surprise him with a gift which he wanted for his birthday – which was a laptop – but he surprised me,” Sen wrote.
“I asked him today while going to buy it, ‘What do you want for your birthday’. He said ‘flowers’. I was amused and confused, why flowers?
“So I asked him ‘why flowers?’ and he replied, ‘because I want to take it to the mosque and pay my respects to the people who died in Christchurch’.
“I was shocked and surprised and didn’t know what to say. After a moment of silence I asked him ‘what about the laptop you wanted for so long?’.
“He said, ‘Dadda you can donate that money to people who need it more in Christchurch. They need it more and I can use your laptop for now’.”
The simple but heartwarming story has attracted over 12,000 reactions and over 1,300 comments on Facebook, and has been shared over 2,700 times.
“Beautiful soul and mind. Plenty of lessons to be learned from this gorgeous being,” commented Davina Parker.
Hilary Sparrow wrote, “He is going to grow into a very fine man with all of the empathy and caring we need in this world now.You are doing a fine job, you must be so proud of him.”
#3. Emotional Haka Tribute
— Hassan Ghani (@hassan_ghani) March 17, 2019
Members of one of New Zealand’s most prominent street gangs are among those who performed an emotional Maori ceremonial dance, in memory of the victims of the mass shooting, according to a report.
Standing near the cordon outside the Al Noor Mosque, members from the Black Power gang performed their tribute while surrounded by dozens of mourners, who gathered last Sunday to leave flowers and pay their respects to the victims.
Speaking ahead of the performance, the leader of the group said: “We are gathered here to express our love and sadness… this is all our community.”
Made up of predominantly Maori and Polynesian members, Black Power is one of the biggest and oldest gangs in New Zealand.
The haka is a ceremonial Maori dance made famous by New Zealand’s rugby team, who perform it before every game. Several versions of the dance exist for different occasions such as funerals, when welcoming distinguished guests, and honouring great achievements.
#4. Plea For Unity
“You’ll have to forgive me, these won’t be my best words…”
— The Project (@theprojecttv) March 15, 2019
“This is a congregational prayer that happens every week like clockwork… This was slaughter by appointment… And it’s scary because like millions of other Muslims, I’m going to keep attending those appointments.”
These were the words of Waleed Aly, an Australian TV host whose plea for unity has gone viral in the aftermath of the tragic mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
A devout Muslim himself, Waleed said he attended Friday prayers at his local mosque just like the worshippers in Christchurch had done that day.
“I know exactly what those moments before the shooting began would have been like. I know how quiet, how still, how introspective those people would have been before they were suddenly gunned down,” he said.
The co-host of Network Ten’s current affairs show “The Project” remarked that the attackers knew, too, how defenseless their victims would have been in that moment.
The Project Host wrapped up his speech by asking the prime minister and other politicians to take action to address the problem of terrorism.
Waleed’s powerful final parting words were directed at the public, more generally.
“Now, we come together. Now we understand that this is not a game. Terrorism doesn’t choose its victims selectively,” he said.
“That we are one community and that everything we say to try to tear people apart, demonise particular groups, set them against each other, that all has consequences even if we’re not the ones with our fingers on the trigger.”
#5. Final Words: ‘Hello Brother’
A 71-year-old former Afghan refugee was among the founding members of al-Noor Mosque, one of the two mosques that was stormed by a terrorist.
Daud Nabi stood at the entrance of the mosque to welcome devotees for Friday prayers.
In the live-streamed video of the onslaught on Facebook, he can be seen warmly welcoming the shooter, saying “Hello Brother” expecting the same from him only to receive multiple lethal bullets.
This simple greeting in the face of death has touched thousands of people’s hearts around the globe.
His last words “Hello Brother” have been trending with tweets in numerous languages.
One tweet that caught Neue’s attention was: “The final words of a pure soul filled with a peaceful faith. #HelloBrother.”
From all of us here at Neue, we would like to extend our deepest condolences and sympathies to the bereaved families affected by this tragedy.