How we as a society respond to Islam highlights principles of religious freedom and respecting those of different beliefs, as we struggle with the issues of tolerating the intolerant and understanding extremism, be it religious, political or social.
I’m sure that not long ago I thought there was no such day as “Everything you think is wrong” day to celebrate. I was wrong. I have no idea who comes up with these days, and no one knows who came up with this one or why on this date, March 15. My guess is the Ides of March was chosen because Julius Cæsar thought Brutus was his friend right up to the moment the knife entered his back.
So how does one celebrate this faux holiday? According to the anonymous founder this is a day to avoid making decisions, and by all means avoid saying “I think”. It is also a good day to spend time contemplating everything we don’t know or think we do, but don’t. We can take time to laugh at ourselves for things people used to think were true but aren’t.
are writing to express our deep concern after hearing of the distress
experienced by many of the victims and their supporters at the first
hearing of the alleged perpetrator of the March 15 2019 Mosque
If you live in Aotearoa New Zealand there are a few positives that have resulted from the horror of March 15, which doesn’t mean the price wasn’t way too high. New gun laws passed nearly unanimously within a couple weeks that have banned automatic and semiautomatic weapons. National and international efforts are ongoing to reign in social media as platforms for hate speech. In depth debates to distinguish free speech from hate speech fill public discourse. And in my mind, a greater recognition by non-Muslims that Muslims are not the threat they have been painted to be since 9/11 and continue to be by Trump and other politicians. They are more often the victims of violence than its perpetrators. They need protection from every religion’s far right fundamentalists as much as anybody else. The outpouring of support for the victims and the Muslim community shown at vigils, burying the local mosques with flowers of condolence, the raising of money for the victims’ families, concerts in support of the Muslim community, the government’s paying for the funerals and fast-tracking visa applications, non-Muslim women wearing hijabs in solidarity with their sisters, and mosques opening their doors to their non-Muslim neighbours to share their faith to build bridges have been transforming acts. We are not who we used to be. From my perspective, we are better than we used to be before March 15.
I see Brian
Tamaki of Destiny Church is having a tantrum again about New Zealand
being a Christian nation. He objected to Jacinda’s call to Muslim
prayer before a two-minute silence to remember the victims of the
massacre of worshipping Muslims in Christchurch. He called it an
abuse of her Prime Ministerial powers.