Our aroha to the Muslim community
March 15, 2019
Associate Professor Leonie Pihama wishes on behalf of Te Kotahi Research Institute, all of our whanau and colleagues, to send our deepest condolences all of those that are in mourning in Christchurch and across Aotearoa, “Ka te tangi te ngākau, kei te heke ngā roimata. Our hearts weep and our tears fall as the news of the murder of Muslim people spreads across Aotearoa and through the world. We send our deepest aroha and condolences to all that have lost their lives, to their families, to their communities”.
Preparing to attend an International Indigenous Research Conference in Hawaii she notes there has been an outpouring of concern and grief from many Indigenous Peoples. “There is a direct understanding from many Indigenous Peoples as to the deep pain and trauma that has been perpetuated upon the Muslim community and the roots of that hatred being embedded in the wider colonising racist xenophobic systems” states Dr Pihama.
As families and friends mourn and prepare to farewell their loved ones, there has been a powerful outpouring of support across the world including within Hawaii. Dr Pihama also highlights that this white supremacist attack must be seen in the wider context of a global movement of hatred towards Muslim communities and in the ever expanding white nationalist movements that are enabled by many organisations within Aotearoa, including many media outlets and broadcasters who feed hatred daily on their shows.
She states “we saw last year the power of white supremacist entitlement being enabled by groups like Hobsons Pledge, Free Speech coalition and broadcasters who framed hate speech as free speech. We said then that hate speech creates an environment that kills. And we stand by that position today and call for all in Aotearoa to call out racism, islamophobia, xenophobia in all its forms”.
Te Kotahi Research Institute