'I'm scared for our safety': Dunedin Muslim community looks to Government for help after Christchurch attack

The Muslim community in Dunedin are scared and looking to the Government for answers.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern visited an Islamic kindergarten and the mosque which was reportedly the Christchurch terrorist's original target.

The children there have little idea what happened on March 15, but their parents do. 

"I'm very sad because people here feel not safe," Mohammad Eidi told Newshub.

He's a Syrian refugee with four children. He thought they'd be safe in New Zealand, and he confronted Ardern during her visit.

"How can I make sure my wife is safe when she wears hijab, when she walks down the street?"

The alleged gunman's manifesto reportedly had Dunedin, where he lived, as the original target.

"There was a discussion about what would happen next, what we could do to make them feel safe, particularly women who so obviously wear their faith," Ardern said.

Madiha Farid wouldn't show her face on camera because she doesn't feel safe right now.

"I'm scared for my children, for the safety of our people," she said. "It took me a while to leave the house."

The alleged gunman's gym was right across the road from a Nur child education centre.

"He had so much hatred for innocent children," Farid said.

She's been targeted by Islamophobia before.

"It never really scared me - I thought it was just somebody letting out some steam - but now this is real."

New Zealand doesn't have specific hate crime laws like a lot of other countries, but the Minister of Justice says he's taking a fresh look at strengthening our existing laws.

"We need to have a look at that legal framework to see whether that is properly covered off," Andrew Little said.

Farid isn't convinced a law change is the way to go, but she thinks more needs to be done to educate Kiwis about the Muslim community. She suggests hui across the country, or something as simple as "just come up to us and approach us and talk to us".


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