New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has called for a global fight to root out racist right-wing ideology following last week’s deadly attack on two mosques in Christchurch.
In one of her
first interviews since then, she told the BBC that she rejected the idea that a
rise in immigration was fuelling racism.
were killed and dozens more wounded in Friday’s gun attacks.
The first funerals, of a father and son from Syria, took place on Wednesday.
mourners gathered at a cemetery near the Linwood Islamic Centre in
Christchurch, one of two places of worship targeted.
Brenton Tarrant, 28, has been charged with murder. Fifty people died in the
the rise of right-wing nationalism she said: “This was an Australian
citizen but that is not to say that we do not have an ideology in New Zealand
that would be an affront to the majority of New Zealanders.”
there was a responsibility “to weed it out where it exists and make sure
that we never create an environment where it can flourish”.
“But I would make
that a global call,” she added. “What New Zealand experienced here
was violence brought against us by someone who grew up and learned their
ideology somewhere else. If we want to make sure globally that we are a safe
and tolerant and inclusive world we cannot think about this in terms of
She defended New
Zealand’s record on accepting refugees, saying: “We are a welcoming
country. I utterly reject the idea that in any way in trying to ensure that we
have a system that looks after those who choose to call New Zealand home, that
we have perpetuated an environment where this kind of ideology can exist.”
also defended her call not to refer to the suspect by name.
his goals… was that he sought notoriety and we will absolutely deny him
that,” she said.
No leader can
prepare for a moment like this. Carrying a nation through tragedy comes down to
instinct and resolve. But Jacinda Ardern’s response to the Christchurch attack
has been admired perhaps because it was honest and sincere.
Compassionate but composed, from the first few hours she sought to place herself on the side of the victims and their families. –BBC
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