By Muhammad Tariq Ghazi
Various social, cultural, literary organizations, especially of the Muslims, should pass resolutions recognizing and appreciating the response of New Zealand Prime Minitser Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand government and New Zealand security forces, then post, tweet or personally hand over to the nearest New Zealand diplomatic mission.
New Zealand’s shock and immediate response must be recognized and Muslim/Islamic organizations of all hues and colors must pass resolutions of gratitude to New Zealand ُPrime Minister, New Zealand government, NS security forces, send or personally hand over to New Zealand diplomatic missions. The more such public resolutions the richer will be the harvest.
At the same time, we must understand why New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern responded to the tragedy the way she did within minutes of hearing about the magnitude of the crime against humanity.
There are many factors involved, and Muslims can further benefit by strengthening these factors.
First: New Zealand is described to be the world’s second-most peaceful nation.
Two: This is the first time that such a massive crime was committed on the soil of New Zealand.
Three: Terror attack was not masterminded nor executed by a New Zealander, but an Australian, which New Zealand people and government had never accepted from a citizen of a country New Zealand considered fraternal and closest in the region.
Four: New Zealand is the country very high on Halal Meat industry involving thousands of immigrant Muslims, and exporting Islamically slaughtered thousand tonnes of beef and mutton every year to a large number of countries around the world.
Five: Halal Beef and Mutton export is one of the major hard cash earners for New Zealand.
Here one must recognize and appreciate the economic savvy of New Zealand government and politicians (unlike sometime overt racist/Islamophobic governments of Australia and other European, Asian, American countries. New Zealand cashed in on a US$4 billion per annum global Halal industry, especially exporting to US, Canada, Europe and West Asia. The Australian terrorist had actually targeted the New Zealand economy which a sensible government would not allow. The New Zealand government did not fail to yake cognizance of this hidden motive opf the Australian terrorist. I think in the coming months New Zealand ties with Australia and the US will suffer. The distance may not be declared but can be seen or sensed, especially by some Muslim countries. In fact such few Muslim countries that have intelligent leadership and vigilant political observers need not only to model their future policies to suit an emerging phenomenon but build new geopolitical bridges in virgin strategic areas and in economic sphere. In a way these times are a major test for the at least three Muslim countries – one in Asian southeast, another in (Eurasian) Midwest and the third in Asian Center.
The keyword is patience, calmness, political finesse, economic bran, intellectual far-sight, media watchdog-ship, of course devoid of shrieking rhetoric and jingoism that creates more enemies than friends. We need friends, not enemies. Muslims have always liked civilized relationship on eye-level, and not animosity and throwing barbs at real or perceived opponents.
There is an Aayat in the Quran: (Al-Baqarah 2:216) that sometime you consider a situation abhorrent but that has good in store for you. This is one such moment that New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called it “Terrorism”, Australia was forced to call it terrorism because the criminal came from there, parliaments in New Zealand and Australia as well as some European countries observed one-minute silence with lawmakers standing in remembering the victims, the Pope, and many world leaders condemned the atrocity and openly sided with Muslims, particularly when this outpouring is compared with the world reaction to the terrorist massacre of 78 Muslims in Oslo and Utøya (Norway) on 22nd July 2011.
The outpouring has opened a window of opportunity. Now is the time to capitalize on a rare show of sympathy.
[Muhammad Tariq Ghazi is Director of Umam Studies House (USH), Whitby, Ontario, Toronto, Canada. He can be contacted at [email protected]]