Lance Goodall 21 March 2019
From an article on snopes
In mid-March 2019, the social media network The Other 98% shared a meme featuring an image of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and text lauding her actions in the face of a deadly massacre targeting the Muslim community in the city of Christchurch:
Readers who were justifiably suspicious of content in a meme generated by a partisan source asked us whether its statements were true, and they were.
Ardern garnered praise for guiding her country through grief in the wake of a mass shooting that claimed the lives of 50 people at two mosques on 15 March 2019 while Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian suspected of being a white supremacist, was charged in the slayings.
Ardern did wear a hijab, or veil, while honoring victims of the massacre. Professional news photographers captured images of Ardern wearing a gold-trimmed, black head covering during her 16 March 2019 visit to the Canterbury Refugee Centre:
It is also true that Ardern confirmed victims and their families would receive financial assistance from the New Zealand government, although it might be a reach to claim she personally offered such assistance.
But in a speech given on 17 March 2019, Ardern assured victims that New Zealand’s Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), an agency that provides financial assistance to anyone in New Zealand who is injured in an accident, would be on hand to help them:
ACC is putting more staff on the ground in Christchurch, working alongside the Ministry of Social Development at the community hub at Hagley.
For ACC — as I’ve said before immigration status is not a factor — it is based on the event happening here in New Zealand.
In an event such as this — murder or manslaughter — the family is eligible for a funeral grant of around $10,000.
There are also one-off payments for the deceased’s partner, children and dependents, ongoing assistance provisions for things like childcare and of course compensation for the loss of income.
MSD [Ministry of Social Development] is providing standard forms of financial assistance also, such as helping with immediate needs and things like one-off grants for food payments. It will also be working with individuals and families to consider ongoing needs, such as benefit support.
The country is currently making preparations for funerals for the 50 deceased victims.
In a recent article from SBS.com.au
Even Friday’s call to prayers for Muslims in New Zealand will be broadcast nationally on TV and radio, and there will be a two minute silence on Friday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced.
More families are beginning the painful process of burying the dead in Christchurch as the community gathered to farewell the first victims of the mosque terror attack.
Ms Ardern said the Friday call to prayer will be broadcast in a show of solidarity. On Wednesday she also announced two minutes of silence will take place to mark a week since the attack.
“There is a desire to show support for the Muslim community as they return to mosques on Friday,” she said.
Christchurch’s Masjid Al Noor is set to reopen its doors on Friday, a week after a gunman stormed into the building and killed 42 people. Christchurch businesses pulled together to help get the mosque ready to reopen for the faithful.
As the one week anniversary of the shooting approaches on Friday, families have become frustrated with the delays in having the dead returned for a swift burial in line with Islamic custom.
Thirty bodies had been formally identified by Wednesday evening and are expected be returned shortly.
Zaid Mustafa, 13, in a wheelchair recovering from a gunshot wound to his leg, tried to stand for prayers as his father Khaled and older brother Hamza, 15, became the first buried.
Within hours another four victims were buried.
Intriguingly there are around 45000 Muslims in New Zealand, just 1% of the population.
This is a just tiny fraction of the 4.5 Million citizens, yet PM Arden brings a new level of acceptance and respectability to Islam in the wake of the killings.
To put this into perceptive this is less than attendance at some Rugby games:
Australia vs New Zealand 2018 Sydney Attendance 18 August 66,318(Wallabies 13-38 All Blacks)
South Africa vs Argentina 2018 Kings Park Durban Attendance 18 August 26,836 (Boks 34-21 Los Pumas)
New Zealand vs Australia 2018 Eden Park Attendance 25 August 49,983 (All Blacks 40-12 Wallabies)
Argentina vs South Africa 2018 Mendoza Attendance 25 August 27,460 (Pumas 32-19 Springboks)
New Zealand v South Africa 2018 Wellington Attendance 15 September 34,182 (All Blacks 34-36 Springboks)
South Africa vs Australia 2018 PE Attendance 29 September 41,332 (Springboks 23-12 Wallabies)
South Africa vs New Zealand 2018 Loftus Attendance 6 October 50,116 (Springboks 30-32 All Blacks)
Here are some highlights of what else has been unfolding:
- The thought police are out in full force and people are being scrutinized for “hate speech”. Green ribbons are being worn as a symbol against hate.
- Mosques and many of the prayer rooms continue to be protected by armed police (police aren’t usually armed in my country).
- Vigils are being held all over the place in solidarity with the victims. These seem to have morphed into what amounts to support for the Islamic religion. Catholic Bishop Dunn held one last Sunday afternoon in the Ponsonby church. After prayers there, they processed over to the mosque, which is on the opposite side of the road and prayed and met there.
- Whitcoulls, one of our book stores, probably the oldest, has removed Jordan Peterson’s book “12 Rules for Life” from its shelves because he was photographed with a member of the public wearing an anti-Islamic t-shirt while he was in New Zealand recently. Apparently, that’s being construed as him having something to do with the madman’s agenda.
- On Tuesday a Muslim prayer was said in Parliament. Just recently all Christian prayer in Parliament was removed.
- On Friday March 22 at 1:30pm New Zealand will be called to prayer…Islamic prayer that is. And we will be expected to keep 2 minutes silence after they read the Muslim prayer acknowledging Allah as “great” and Muhammad as his “prophet.” The call to prayer will be broadcasted on national radio stations and TV as well.
- Cardinal Dew will go to the local mosque (Kilbirnie) as well on Friday to stand outside during their prayers as an act of solidarity. The Catholic bishops here have been very sympathetic and playing out their “inter-faith role” with great enthusiasm.
- Catholic school students have been praying inside mosques.
Although many would appreciate her compassion and care, the question is still, is Prime Minister Ardern quietly promoting the acceptance of Islam, or should all leaders be taking a leaf from her book?
- Garrand, Danielle. “New Zealand Helping to Pay Christchurch Shooting Victims’ Funerals, Regardless of Immigration Status.”
CBS News. 17 March 2019.
- Beehive.govt.nz. “PM Statement on Christchurch Shooting.”
17 March 2019.
- The Straits Times. “New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern Wants to Discuss Live-Streaming with Facebook After Mosque Attacks.”
17 March 2019.
- Fifield, Anna. “New Zealand’s Prime Minister Receives Worldwide Praise for Her Response to the Mosque Shootings.”
The Washington Post. 18 March 2019.