Christchurch terror attack: Why Amanda Gillies chose to wear a headscarf

The AM Show newsreader Amanda Gillies says she agonised over whether to wear a headscarf on Friday morning's broadcast.

Gillies - like many other women around the country - wore a headscarf on Friday to show solidarity with the Muslim community, a week on from the Christchurch mosque attacks that left 50 dead.

"No one is any closer to coming to grips with what happened," she told host Duncan Garner.

"People still don't understand how or why it happened, and to be honest, I'm not sure they ever will. How do you get your mind around 50 innocent people - including happy, innocent children - being shot dead while they pray? It's impossible."

The outpouring of grief and support for the victims and their families has been largely unprecedented in New Zealand history.

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  • A Newshub special will air on Three and newshub.co.nz from 1pm to 2:30pm on Friday to mark one week since the attack.

  • How are you marking today? Send your photos/videos to news@newshub.co.nz
  • Wearing a headscarf today? email cleofraser@mediaworks.co.nz or call (09) 928 9050 if you'd like to talk about your reasons

 

In addition to the endless bouquets laid at mosques around the country, and boundless generosity shown on crowdfunding sites Givealittle and LaunchGood, women are showing support by wearing headscarves.

Amanda Gillies.
Amanda Gillies. Photo credit: The AM Show

"There's no way a week ago that I would have, because I would have thought it would have been deemed inappropriate, not right, that I was insulting the Muslim community," said Gillies, wearing a peach-coloured scarf.

"I'll be honest - I did angst over it today whether I should wear it, because I didn't want to be inappropriate or offend the Muslim community. But I know that they are so welcoming and accepting of it, and I know that a lot of women will wear it today because it just shows that we are united - the solidarity is there, the love and support is there."

She said the attack may mark the point where New Zealand kicks casual racism to touch.

"I think the racist taunts - that maybe we would have done without even thinking about it in the past - I think people will think twice about that and we will become one community, which I think is so important."

A Muslim call-to-prayer will be broadcast on radio and television at 1:30pm, ahead of two minutes' silence to mark the exact moment the gunman began his rampage a week ago.

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