New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern wins praise for showing solidarity with Muslim community
Small gestures can mean a lot.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is going through some of the darkest days in her political career.
In the aftermath of the terror attack on two New Zealand mosques, she won praise for displaying compassion and sensitivity to the Muslim community in the country.
On Saturday, March 16, she flew to Christchurch to meet with the families of the victims.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that PM Ardern had donned a black headscarf as a gesture of solidarity with the Muslim community in grief.
She also laid a wreath at Kilbirnie Mosque, where other well-wishers had already left their own flowers and other messages.
PM Ardern had another challenge, which was to balance the need for forensic investigation and the wishes of the families for the funerals.
She assured them that the authorities were working to make sure the bodies of the victims could be identified and repatriated quickly in order to comply with Muslim funeral customs.
Deceased Muslims are usually buried as quickly as possible, and preferably within 24 hours of their passing away.
Calls for unity
According to SMH, PM Ardern had already expressed unity with the victims in her speech not long after the attack.
She said of those who were killed: “They are us.”
She repeated her message when she spoke out against the accused terrorist, Australian man Brenton Tarrant, by saying: “The person who has committed this violent act has no place here.”
Top image by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images.