CID vigil outside the Brandon Street Muslim place of prayer on Monday, 18th March.
+ A message from Farid, a member of the CID team
No one believed this terror could happen in a country as peaceful and lovely as New Zealand. Everyone would agree this was not the New Zealand we know. But it happened and it has left deep grief, tears, and sorrow, not only for Kiwi Muslims who became the direct victims of this terror but for all Kiwis across the country and abroad, even to the rest of the world.
However, it’s just amazing to see the wholehearted, massive support from fellow Kiwis and the government. People keep coming to Muslim premises including mosques, prayer places, even houses, to express their deep condolences. They are bringing flowers, banners and cards with nice words, candles or anything showing their wonderful support to the victims. Vigils are organised everywhere across the country to show togetherness. Love is everywhere. This gives assurance that Aotearoa is still a peaceful home for anyone and will remain the same. New Zealand is still the same and this will even make New Zealand better in the future. Hatred will never win.
Stay strong New Zealand, Kia Kaha Aotearoa.
|+ 'Standing together we are strong'
The international NGOs responded with the following statement, printed in full in today's NZ Herald:
"The New Zealand we believe in is one where the hopes of refugees and migrants arriving in any New Zealand community are realised with welcome and safety.
It’s one where our Muslim whānau who have long been part of Aotearoa New Zealand would remain safe.
Above all, safety at prayer.
Let Friday be one of our darkest days, but one that we vow never to let happen again. Let’s not give extremists the power to change who we are for the worse – let this be a chance for us to grow stronger, more committed to what is important to us, and to create every single day the communities that we want to live in.
Among our Muslim whānau are families that have come to New Zealand seeking safety, seeking shelter from persecution and conflict. One family at a time, our volunteers and staff have been learning the stories of escape, and of hope for peace sought by people reaching New Zealand.
The New Zealand chapter of these stories was about neighbours helping neighbours by showing warmth and welcome as, one family at a time, our new whānau were beginning to rebuild their lives. We must continue.
As CEOs from some of New Zealand’s international NGO community organisations, we are united in love for our Muslim community. Many of us will have heard our Prime Minister ask that we show our Muslim whānau love and compassion.
We share faith that in standing together with love and compassion for our neighbours we will defeat hate. We know we must.
We stand for a community and a nation where freedom, justice, hope and love are not negotiable values, but at the heart of who we are.
Together, we make New Zealand what it is: a land of welcome, respect and openness. This demands each of us make this vision real, and that we challenge injustice wherever we see it.
A joint letter by the CEOs of New Zealand’s international NGO community:
Kia kaha Christchurch.
Tony Blackett, Executive Director Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand
Josie Pagani, CEO Council for International Development
Ian McInnes, CEO Tearfund
Julianne Hickey, CEO Caritas New Zealand
Jackie Edmond, CEO Family Planning New Zealand
Vivien Maidaborn, CEO UNICEF New Zealand
Paul Brown, CEO ChildFund New Zealand
Claire Szabo, CEO Habitat for Humanity New Zealand
Grant Bayldon, CEO World Vision New Zealand
Murray Sheard, CEO Christian Blind Mission New Zealand
Katrina Penney, Chair, Médecins Sans Frontières, New Zealand
Livia Esterhazy, CEO WWF New Zealand
Pauline McKay, CEO Christian World Services
Rachael Le Mesurier, CEO Oxfam New Zealand
|+ Special edition of CID newsletter
In this newsletter, we will inform you of vigils and events across the country; support available; and how you can respond to the weekend's tragedy.
As international NGOs, we stand not just beside our Muslim brothers and sisters, but in front of them - to push back against the hate and to make our Muslim New Zealanders feel safe and loved.
We want to acknowledge our first responders, the ambulance and medical staff in Christchurch, the members of the public who put their own safety aside to help the wounded, and the courage and bravery of those inside the mosque.
Our demonstrations of love and support must continue for many days and months ahead.
Whatever you're doing today, keep doing it.
CID will continue to provide updated information on a daily basis for the next week.
If you're in the Wellington CBD, the CID office is a safe space for anyone that needs to debrief or decompress. We share our building with the CBD mosque (Place of Prayer), and people are welcome to visit the Prayer room to show their support too.
Any support you can keep showing to our Muslim co-workers and colleagues in the CBD as they return to prayer at lunchtimes will be hugely appreciated by those who use the prayer room. Bring flowers, write messages of support with chalk outside the front doors of 26 Brandon St.
Anything CID can do to support your efforts as your staff and volunteers support people in Christchurch, please let us know. Any information we can share in our daily updates, get in touch.
The CID team
|+ Muslim Voices
Here is a selection of articles written in the last days by the Muslim community:
- For us, life in New Zealand will never be the same - Mosques, places of prayer and communities have always been heavily scrutinised for signs of extremism. But as a Muslim New Zealander, Sahail Din asks the question; what was put in place to protect Muslims from terrorists.
- Kiwi Muslim's words reveal both sides of New Zealand - Muskeet shares his thoughts about the attacks, revealing he has always experienced racism in New Zealand.
- Christchurch mosque terror attacks a dark day of grief, shock and unspeakable heartbreak - Saziah Bashir suggests that we all to be courageous and self-reflect on the fear, judgment and complacency that we internalise, and be brave enough to look at creative and inclusive ways forward.
- New Zealand's Mass Shooting is an Expression of the Violence Muslims Face Around the World - Ahmad Ibsais explains the violence faced by many Muslims across the world, and its extension into the New Zealand attacks, offering solidarity.
- The New Zealand mosques massacre and the denial of Muslim experience - Dr Asim Qurenshi, research director at CAGE, a UK-based advocacy organisations demands that media coverage must center the narrative of the victims, and suggests that there is an inherent danger that intended targets get crowded out of the media within the "performance that we were all equally impacted".
Khaled Beydoun was frustrated by the lack of coverage in the media about the victims of Friday's tragedy. So he has started gathering information sent from victims' family or friends and sharing the profiles of the 50 people that lost their lives in the Christchurch terrorist attack.
Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.
|+ There must be a day of reckoning
How did the terrorist threat of white supremacism in New Zealand go under the radar? We have given the SIS and the GCSB the right to read our emails, look at our Facebook posts, and Instagram feeds and much more.
There will need to be a day of reckoning
where we get answers to these questions, writes David Fisher in the NZ Herald.
The PM has announced an inquiry and our two spy agencies have welcomed it.
Dame Anne Salmond states that "white supremacy is a black strand woven through our history as a nation
" The ominous signs for Friday's atrocity were everywhere, if only we had listened to New Zealand's Muslim community wrote former race relations commissioner Dame Susan Devoy. While we as a community are rightfully shocked and stunned immediately following the event, in her opinion piece 'Hatred lives in New Zealand
' Devoy states that Muslim New Zealanders have prayed that this day would never come.
Anjum Rahman, the spokesperson for the Islamic Women’s Council of New Zealand, states in her article 'We warned you. We begged. We pleaded. And now we demand accountability
' that for more than five years, Muslim representatives approached every authority they could. They "knocked on every door we could, we spoke at every possible forum. We pointed to the rise of vitriol and the rise of the alt-right in New Zealand." The Islamic community has increasingly become concerned about increasing pressure on their communities from rising levels of discrimination in New Zealand. The issues they were seeing were too much for their own community to resolve, says Anjum. The solutions needed to be systemic and required investment by government in programmes to increase support to migrants and refugees.
"When people ask what can we do today, the answer is the same as it was yesterday, last year and the year before that: we must never, ever let hatred and racism go unchallenged when we see it in our communities – on a bus, on Facebook, on the street," writes Susan Devoy. Anne Salmond reminds us that New Zealand's history also has another strained, one that is based on justice and kindness, equality and mutual respect.
|+ Extreme hate groups at a 20 year high
Globally, extreme groups pushing hate
towards particular groups in society are on the rise, from both the far right and the far left.
But the most significant growth was in the number of white nationalist organisations, for example, up from 100 in the USA in 2017 to 148 in 2018.
71% of the deaths linked to extremism in the United States between 2008 and 2017 were committed by far-right attackers.
The use of racist and fascist terms
on the internet has increased since 2015 which saw the beginning of the rise of anti-immigration rhetoric in the USA and Europe, according to Rolling Stone magazine and Ceros Originals.
|+ What you need to know today
+ IMMEDIATE RESPONSE
+ DONATIONS IN SUPPORT OF VICTIMS AND FAMILIES
- Emergency visa Info for families of Christchurch victims – covers information and contact details for family or friends needing to come to New Zealand urgently.
- Offers of Assistance – Anyone wanting to offer practical assistance to those affected by Friday’s tragedy can call the Council Contact Centre on 941-8999 (or 0800 800 169) or firstname.lastname@example.org. Staff will record all offers of assistance and forward them to the appropriate agencies.
- ACC Financial Support – ACC is offering financial support to those who have been injured or have lost a loved one in Friday's mosque shootings. You can find details on how to access ACC's financial support on their website.
- Canterbury Charity Hospital Trust – The Canterbury Charity Hospital will be providing free counselling sessions for locals in need of support this week. People seeking free counselling from the hospital can make an appointment by calling 03 360 2266 (on weekdays), 020 4098 0750 (out of hours), or emailing email@example.com.
- FIANZ Crisis Response Office in Christchurch – The Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand have set up a crisis centre in Christchurch to offer 24-hour support and information. Please contact 0220786262 (Sultan Eusoff) should you need further information. Please also see the letter from the FIANZ President.
- Mental Wellbeing Support - Canterbury District Health Board has trained counsellors available, so if anyone requires mental wellbeing support or advice they can call or text 1737.
- Support the Muslim community – Council of Christians and Muslims urges all to reach out to Muslim neighbours, workmates, and friends. The immediate need is to offer love, support, sympathy and space to grieve in the short-term. The longer-term need being to continually build understanding, and addressing inherited prejudice and misunderstandings that separate communities. Please also see the resources from PreemptiveLove.
- New Zealand Red Cross RFL – New Zealand Police has an MoU with New Zealand Red Cross to help restore family links (RFL), or for individuals to indicate they are safe and well, following a disaster or incident such as the Christchurch shootings. Please contact Restoring Family Links or call 0800 115 019 if you or a colleague is trying to find or reconnect with someone who might be affected by this event.
- Victim Support – support is available at a number of well-known call-lines including Manaaki Tangata Victim Support, and Aotearoa Resettlement Community Coalition in Christchurch.
- Donations are being accepted for The Christchurch Foundation's Our People, Our City Fund at most banks or by bank transfer to the following bank account: The Christchurch Foundation 15-3976-0091104-80. The foundation will work with Muslim communities to distribute the fund.
- Al Manar Trust – This trust has launched an emergency appeal for victims to offer help from the community around New Zealand to support the affected families.
- NZ Victim Support - The New Zealand Council of Victim Support Groups has also set up a GiveALittle crowdfunding campaign. All donations received to the page will provide support and resources for people, and their family members, impacted by the shootings in Christchurch.
- NZ Islamic Information Centre - The New Zealand Islamic Information Centre (NZIIC) has established a crowdfunding campaign on Launchgood. All funds raised distributed to the victims and families affected by the Christchurch attack. All proceeds will go towards helping with their immediate, short-term needs.
+ VIGILS & SERVICES AROUND THE COUNTRY
There are a number of vigils being planned around the country within the next week:
- Waiheke – Wednesday, 20th March at 6:30pm at Oneroa Beach
- Masterton – Wednesday, 20th March at 7:30pm at Memorial Square
- Mangere – Friday, 22nd March at 1:00pm at Airport Masjid Mosque
- Palmerston North – Friday, 22nd March at 1:00 at Manawatu Muslims Association
- Auckland – Friday, 22nd March at 6:00pm at Aotea Square
- Kapiti – Friday, 22nd March at 7:00pm at Zeal.
- Auckland #2 – Sunday, 24th March at 2:00pm at Aotea Square
- Blenheim – Wednesday, 20th March at 6:30pm at Seymour Square
- Dunedin – Thursday, 21st March at 7:00pm at the Octagon
- Nelson – Friday, 22nd March at 12:30pm at Nelson Islamic Cultural Society Mosque.
- Christchurch – Sunday, 24th March at 5:00pm at Hagley Park
+ PRESS RELEASES & STATEMENTS
+ FURTHER RESOURCES
+ OTHER ACTIONS
- Attend the Combating Islamaphobia and Racism workshops being run in central Auckland on Wednesday, 20th March and Thursday, 21st March
- Volunteer to help migrants or former refugees get their driver’s licence through the Open Road programme.
- Support organisations such as Ethnic Women’s Trust and the many Social Enterprises that provide livelihoods for migrants and former refugees.
- Support the Action Station petition for urgent action to address significant threats online hate, harassment and abuse is causing to New Zealanders
- Further strengthen your support for the Muslim community with these 5 things you can do today, from the organisation Preemptive Love.
- Download the Human Rights Commission ‘Give Nothing To Racism’ organisational toolkit
- Help your friends and family to address casual racism using these guidelines from Amnesty International
- Support the Action Station petition for urgent actions to ban all semiautomatic firearms and large-capacity magazines.
- Commemorate the 10-year anniversary of NZ’s Neighbourhood Week on 22nd – 31st March.
- Volunteer to support English language training for migrants and former refugees settling in New Zealand
- Consider doing Psychological First Aid (PFA) training with the New Zealand Red Cross. PFA provides initial emotional and practical support to someone who has experienced a traumatic event; either a large-scale disaster or a personal traumatic incident.
- Get a copy of the ‘Cards for Calamity’ tool for yourself or those you care about following a disaster.
- Listen to the award-winning 2017 pod-casts ‘Public Enemy’ about growing up Muslim in Australia and New Zealand, about how policies, elections and xenophobia impacts on lives.
|+ CID Conference and MFAT Partnership Day 2019
Our conference website is live - http://www.cidconference2019.com/
Further information on the event will be added during the year, with updates announced through the CID weekly. So watch this space!
+ The CID Weekly is proudly sponsored by