Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, Shows the World that Terrorism Can Hit Us but Cannot Vanquish the Power of Love, Compassion and Empathy
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s message in the face of the odious massacre in two Christchurch mosques on Friday, March 15, 2019, touched not only the hearts of Muslims but people around the world. Cultural racism and Islamophobia has perfused all corners of the world. The recent terror attacks in New Zealand sent a shock wave around the globe.
Standing in solidarity with the Muslims of New Zealand and mourning the death of 50 worshipers, Prime Minister Ardern, began her parliamentary speech with the Muslim greeting, As-Salamu Alaikum, and said that the attack was perpetrated by suspects with “extremist views” that had no place in her country or the wider world. Later in a press conference, she described the attack as, “One of New Zealand's darkest days.”
For the first time in years, a Western prime minister turned to Muslims and said, “We are you.” She wore hijab — an object of grudge in the West — and paid condolences to the Muslim community of Christchurch. She also announced that the Friday Azan would be broadcast live on state radio and television across the nation. New Zealand commemorated the victims with two minutes of silence and all women in the country wore a headscarf to display unity.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has won the hearts of Muslims with her strong leadership during a time of national crisis. Aliya Danzeisen from the Waikato Muslim Association — a Mosque in Hamilton, New Zealand — called the Prime Minister ‘inspirational’ in her interview with Newshub Nation on March 23rd. Danzeisen praised Prime Minister Ardern’s decisive action on gun control, as she had declared a ban on all military-style semi-automatic and assault rifles.
Since the attack, Ardern has shown true emotion and empathy by walking hand in hand with those affected by the tragedy. She has become an exemplary leader by turning this tragedy into an opportunity and has shown the world that New Zealand does not support extremism against any race or religion.
Does she govern differently because she is a woman? It is evident that female governed nations have a different approach to politics. Ardern has shown the world what real leadership represents; diversity, kindness and compassion, in comparison to the terror inflicted by male leaders with fascist tendencies. She has spoken repeatedly about the need to curb hate speech and talks about sympathy and love, when other leaders talk about building walls. Ardern, wise beyond her 38 years, embodies what she says. Her progressive stance has surpassed all male leaders of today and has been a true source of comfort for the international community as she advocates for peace by standing firm and talking about human values that other politicians have been overlooking.HH
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