This is how you do it

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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand has shown the world how to react to a crisis and galvanize her nation. Following the Christchurch mosque attacks, she took charge and steered her country into taking humane action that has left many other world leaders looking pathetically inadequate.

To elaborate on her efforts, Muslims worldwide genuinely appreciated the reaction of the people of New Zealand following Ms. Ardern’s public appeal.

If any nation wants to learn how to treat a minority in time of need, please use New Zealand and its prime minister as a case study.

‪Fifty Muslims were attacked and killed by an Australian-born terrorist while praying in a mosque. ‬‬‬‬

‪How did New Zealand a tiny island of only four million people respond? ‬‬‬‬

‪- Entire population mourned genuinely. ‬‬‬‬

‪- Called it a terrorist attack when the attacker was white, while media in other nations described the criminal as a “poor little lost boy”. ‬‬‬‬

‪- Raised more than $10 million in days following the attack for the families affected. ‬‬‬‬

- All funeral costs were undertaken by the government of New Zealand.

- Any person caught spreading hate news or promoting and spreading the video clip of the attack would be jailed for up to 14 years.

- Passed a law to ban semi-automatic guns within days after the incident.

- A huge number of people gathered all over the country to lay flowers outside mosques and show their support within hours.

- The Kiwi people including the New Zealand police and even gang members in the country patrol outside mosques while Muslims pray.

- The call to prayers was played publicly on national TV, radio and every mosque around New Zealand at the following week’s Friday prayers.

- The government fast-tracked visa issuances within 24 hours to allow families of those affected to enter New Zealand.

- The Kiwi people opened their homes to provide free shelter, food and support to any Muslim.

- Non-Muslim Kiwi women and girls wore the hijab to make hijab-clad Muslim women and girls feel safer.

- The New Zealand media covered the Muslim voice in depth and detail, with detailed interviews with the families of those affected, and the tragedy and its aftermath dominated front-page headlines for days and is still continuing.

- Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern wore a hijab and personally visited the Muslim community on a daily basis to provide love and support. She hugged Muslims and genuinely mourned with them.

- The New Zealand Parliament for the first time invited an imam to start a Parliament session.

- Flags flew at half-staff.

- The Kiwi people filled parks and beaches with artwork, flowers and candles to show that they stood with the Muslim community shoulder to shoulder.

- Non-Muslim Kiwis are actively staying around Muslims to make sure they feel welcome and at home. They are sitting, talking and eating with them.

If this happened in another country, it is likely the news would not have even made it to the second page of the newspaper.

Alhamdulillah and thank you, New Zealand, you have made yourselves a special place in the hearts of 1.8 billion Muslim people. Forever!

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern should be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her determination to create cohesiveness in her country and bring unity to her people, unlike other world leaders who sow hatred and divisiveness against minorities to suit their own nefarious purposes.

The author can be reached at talmaeena@aol.com. Follow him on Twitter @talmaeena


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