One year on from the atrocious terror attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand, The Duke of Cambridge has told the Muslim community there, “I stand here ready to help you.” The terrorist attack occurred at the Al-Noor and Linwood mosques in March 2019 where 51 people were killed. The Duke of Cambridge visited the area shortly after the attacks and reconnected with members of the Muslim community in Christchurch via a video call on Thursday.
In what was the deadliest shooting in New Zealand’s modern history, the Government responded by banning most semi-automatic weapons. The gunman was an Australian white supremacist and pleaded guilty to 51 counts of murder, 40 counts of attempted murder and one count of terrorism.
In the video call on Thursday, Prince William spoke with Imam Alani Lateef and Imam Gamal Fouda as well as representatives from the Muslim Association of Canterbury. William asked how the attack was still being felt by the community today as well as asking how the shootings are impacting on the younger generation. Community member, Dahabo Ali, said, “The youth are making Islamic identity normal so Islamophobia is something of the past rather than something continuing to fight every single day. People are continuing to not only feel safe but have their voices heard and being seen in New Zealand.”
The Duke of Cambridge told those on the video call, “I’m really proud of all of you, the whole community and the New Zealand Government for how you have all dealt with such an atrocity. You are a role model for how something so tragic can be negotiated with the utmost grace and dignity. I stand here ready to help in any way I can. If there is more that needs to be done don’t hesitate to reach out.”
Muslim communities across the globe are currently observing Ramadan – which began on April 23rd and will end on May 23rd.
Photo: World Bank