Christchurch’s mosque terror attack response recognised with compassion award

29th Nov 2019
Christchurch’s mosque terror attack response recognised with compassion award

Flowers and tributes for the victims of the Christchurch mosque shootings, Rolleston Avenue, Christchurch, New Zealand (Credit: Kebabette/Wik Commons)

Elham Asaad Buaras

The people of Christchurch, New Zealand, were awarded a special international honour in recognition of their response to the terror attack at Al Noor Mosque on March 15, at an awards ceremony in Monterrey, Mexico.

The Compassion Humanitarian Award is handed out in recognition to both cities and organisations.

In a video message played at the awards on October 10, Lianne Dalziel, the Mayor of Christchurch, said, “The incredible outpouring of love, compassion and kindness was the instinctive response of the people of Christchurch to the horrific events on March 15, when our Muslim brothers and sisters were attacked in their place of worship as they prayed.”

“We thank the Charter for Compassion for recognising Christchurch on the international stage as we too wish to play our part in making sure that this becomes how we reconnect to our humanity, and that we reject violence, we reject hatred and we reject all that divides us. We are one.”

The Charter for Compassion which runs the awards has now also designated Christchurch a ‘Compassionate City’, joining 441 other cities across the world.

David Dahlin, the Executive Director of the Charter for Compassion, paid tribute the people of Christchurch who he said “embodies the true spirit of what it means to be human and is worthy recipients of the Compassion Humanitarian Award.”

The Charter for Compassion was formed in 2009 as a result of a world-renowned author and researcher Karen Armstrong being granted $100,000 by TED for a single wish to change the world. The first Compassion Humanitarian Awards were made in San Francisco in 2014.

The Christchurch terror attacks catapulted Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s 40th Prime Minister into the international spotlight. She was lauded at home and abroad for her compassionate yet firm response to the fatal shooting of 51 people at two mosques, which left another 49 injured.

In the aftermath, Ardern moved quickly to lead parliament to strengthen what she described as weaknesses in the country’s gun control laws. Just weeks after the attack, lawmakers voted 119 to one to ban most automatic and semi-automatic weapons.

The Prime Minister has been widely quoted as having said that she “doesn’t understand” gun regulations in the US.

Perhaps more importantly, she met with leaders of New Zealand’s Muslim community the day after the shootings, allocating as much time to speaking with members of the community as they saw fit. “Our time is for you to determine,” she said.

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Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.

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