Christchurch mosque attacks: Muslims hope community spirit will continue to grow

9:36 am on 29 March 2019

Despite the enormity of the tragedy, a spokesperson for Islamic women in New Zealand believes the Christchurch terror attacks have also had some positive effects.

Anjum Rahman

Anjum Rahman Photo: Sally Tagg

Anjum Rahman from the Islamic Women's Council of New Zealand will attend today's National Day of Remembrance in Christchurch.

She told Morning Report the mosque attacks had started difficult conversations amongst New Zealanders and people were starting to realise the discrimination minority groups face.

However, Ms Rahman said today the focus would be on those who lost loved ones and she was expecting it to be a very emotional day.

"I'm expecting it will be a time to reflect on the tragedy, to remember the people that have passed, to think about the families who've lost their loved ones and how we can support them.

"For me, the focus is on those who immediately need our help and support."

Anjum Rahman believes New Zealand has changed over the last two weeks.

"The whole outpouring of support reflected across the country was really heartwarming and really positive, and I'm hoping the spirit shown in the last two weeks will continue so we can build a better society for everyone."

Ms Rahman was pleased a Royal Commission of Inquiry would be held into the attacks, although she would have liked its terms of reference to be a bit wider.

"But, at least there will be some inquiry so we can get answers about what might have been done, where the gaps might have been in terms of the security services.

"We would also like to see a national strategy around inclusion and diversity and around really helping people to understand each other better."

Ms Rahman said it was important to ensure all communities had equal access to the services they need.

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