March 15 Christchurch terror attack survivor haunted by mental trauma

A March 15 terror attack survivor says he "might never come out of this trauma".

Mirwais Waziri says his community hasn't felt normality in almost two years now, and his wife is afraid of being attacked.

Waziri was praying at Christchurch's Al Noor Mosque when a gunman entered, killing 51 and injuring 40. He was shot and wounded in the attack, bullet shrapnel piercing six holes in his skull.

"My physical injury was not big... But my mental injuries... big... it is big. I might never come out of this trauma," he tells Newshub Nation.

Screams he heard during the attack still replaying in his mind two years on. 

"It still comes to my mind, the people were screaming for help - those were injured inside the mosque and they were calling 'help me, help me'."

Waziri watched those around him die, including his good friend who was seated beside him.

He says the trauma he and other survivors face is so immense they sometimes wish they had the same fate.

"Sometimes you say 'no I'm not lucky'. The trauma you get... a lot of the people there are so traumatised, and they say 'we wish we died there'."

The experience forcing the community to become increasingly wary.

"Our families, their life is not normal after the 15th of March. Most of the time you are suspicious of stuff.

"When you go to the mosque, and after March 15, when you get to the door, you remember the day and you think somebody might come again and attack. And you're looking and watching and you're not going with confidence.

"You're not safe in your place of worship." 

Waziri's says his wife has faced Islamophobia and racism.

"She had that before, she had [that] after 15 March," he tells Newshub Nation. "In a shopping mall they called her, you know like offensive language."

She's also afraid of being attacked.

"My wife, after this 15 March [attack], she's not able to walk on the street with a scarf. She's too scared she might be attacked by someone in the shopping mall or while she's walking in the park."

Mirwais Waziri says while he respects that some victims have forgiven the gunman, he can't do the same. 

"I respect their view and their decision that they forgive him but I couldn't forgive him." 

Waziri's message to Andrew Little, the minister responsible for the Government's ongoing response to the terror attack: "We are suffering and we do not want politics in this matter. Just be honest and support the victims physically and emotionally, we need both."