New Zealand has been dealt a blow for courting diversity. Devastating news of mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand with 49 fatalities came in on early Friday. The Bangladesh cricket team that was in Christchurch to play the third Test match made a narrow escape. The match has been cancelled and the team were on their way home.
The New Zealand authorities moved in quickly to prevent any further damage while apprehending three men and a woman. One man of Australian origin has been charged with murder in connection with the terrorist attack who live-streamed his deadly assault via a camera attached his headgear.
PM Jacinda Ardern addressing the press twice in a span of a few hours alluded to anti-immigrant sentiment as a possible motive behind the attack, calling it one of the country’s “darkest days. She said the country was attacked because New Zealand is a country of 200 ethnicities and 160 languages.
The attacker, claiming to be acting alone, left a 74-page anti-immigrant manifesto in which he explained who he was and why he did what he did. He chose New Zealand to show that even the most remote parts of the world were not free of mass immigration.
Although it was not immediately clear but most of the victims were either immigrants or refugees. New Zealand, a nation of five million people is generally perceived to be a place lenient to immigrants. The PM reinforced the same by categorically rejecting the ideology behind the attack.
The deadliest attack in the country’s history points to the ever-explosive issue of immigration. War and destitution are the two major reasons for people to migrate to the countries with stable and stronger economies. While the NZ PM called the victims as “us” there was an immediate debate on social media to call it a terrorist attack because generally the Muslims who were the target in this particular attack have been the aggressors and the world has always been quick to call the acts as terrorism. This is a time for the world to grieve and reflect. Going beyond the divides of faith and colour, it is time to address the causes behind violence and wars, and inequality. To make the world peaceful and equitable so that no one has to move from the place they belong to. And no one is obliged to feel vulnerable from these movements.