Opinion: Tragedy of Christchurch terror attack shouldn't be used so Tinseltown can profit

Al Noor mosque.
Al Noor mosque. Photo credit: Getty

OPINION: The smashed window of Linwood mosque, the tarpaulin-covered fence of Masjid An-Nur, grim-faced men and women in white hazmat suits, the police tape on Deans Avenue and the picture of three-year-old Mucaad Ibrahim - those are my first memories of the Christchurch terrorist attack.

In the days that followed, I spoke to victims, survivors and their families. It was emotionally draining.

Piece by piece with the rest of New Zealand I came to grips with the reality of a planned mass murder.

And against this backdrop came the slogan "they are us".

Yet, it felt lonely and it still does.

It took 51 lives for you to own the Muslim community. That's a heavy price to pay.

The details of the attack were gruesome and shocking, but the fact that it happened was not a surprise. If you were us, you'd have known.

Just a week after the attacks, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the gun laws in New Zealand would change.

It was too soon to process it, but the words "too little too late" did come to mind.

It felt misguided to think gun reform alone would fix violent extremism in New Zealand.

That's like saying the lax gun laws caused the attacks in the first place. They were certainly a contributing factor, but not the sole reason.

I wanted to hear more and I wanted her to promise more.

That's not to say Ardern wasn't a fantastic leader at a dark time, but that's her job description. It gives her an A+ on her report card, but it does not make her a hero.

So I hope you understand, I am a little upset that Hollywood is now making a film about our worst day and the woman who is being heralded the hero did nothing extraordinary.

The real fighters were those inside the mosque, those who went to pray but never returned.

And those who survived, but returned week after week despite the trauma.

Some of the survivors and victims' families are still waiting for answers. This story has not yet ended.

So I don't think we're ready to watch a movie about the attacks. Not now. Not ever.

It is the idea of someone getting paid to act out a tragedy so Tinseltown can profit that does not bode well.

But maybe I am too salty, after all, it isn't unfamiliar for Muslims to find ourselves the subject of Hollywood flicks where someone white parachutes into the scene to liberate us.

Mahvash Ali is an associate producer for The Project