Opinion: I am a proud Muslim from Pakistan, but I will be a Kiwi forever

  • Opinion
  • 19/03/2019

By Mahvash Ali

OPINION: When a child passes away, he waits outside the gates of heaven and does not enter until God allows his parents in, too - that's what Muslims believe anyway.  

I hope three-year-old Mucad Ibrahim is there right now with four-year-old Abdullahi Dirie. 

I pray my 65-year-old sister in Islam Linda Armstrong is there.  

I hope that's where all Christchurch victims are right now - anywhere but here.  They are in a much better place, because this one feels like hell.  

The first time I went to Christchurch was for a holiday and I was grinning ear-to-ear, yesterday tears rolled down my cheeks as the plane took off.

The day was as grim as the mood of the city.

I saw the two mosques. I broke down on the side of the road when I saw the smashed front window of Linwood mosque. Deans Ave was a scene that left me speechless. 

I met a woman who said murdered Fijian imam Musa Patel was her marriage celebrant, another told me the senior citizen walked to the mosque every day.  

A mother looked intently at the mosque as she said one of the men who died inside was the son of a couple who ran her daughter's childcare centre.

"He hasn't made us weaker, "she said.

So here's the upshot, and it gives me much satisfaction to tell you, dear terrorist, you have failed.

Deans Ave was a sea of white European faces, grieving with the Muslims.

The Maori haka that reverberated through Hagley Park was deafening. 

You watch on Friday, dear terrorist, Muslims will come out to pray - they will come in their thousands. And there will be those who will stand beside us to protect us. They will stand between your grotesque ideology and the worshipers.

When those caskets are lifted, watch as everyone takes a turn to give them a shoulder.  

There are women who will don the Hijab in solidarity with their Muslim sisters this week. We will all look the same, because we are all the same.

So you may have created hell for now, but watch as New Zealand responds. You shall go down in history as an animal.

And here's a personal message. New Zealand is my home and I am not leaving. I am a proud Muslim from Pakistan, but I will be a Kiwi forever.

Mahvash Ali is an associate producer at The Project.