I learned a new word today, weltschmerz.
It is German word that roughly translates as world pain or world-weariness. It perfectly sums up how I feel after the horrendous things that happened in my home city on Friday.
A man who I will not name as he deserves no attention, walked into two mosques in Christchurch where people were peacefully worshipping and he massacred them.
Children, elderly people, families gunned down by this alt-right monster.
The whole thing still feels so surreal 3 days after the fact.
New Zealand is generally a pretty liberal and accepting country. It is also a very peaceful country compared to most. So, for a gun massacre like this to happen there it is unbelievable and feels like we have entered some nightmarish twilight zone. I am so desperately sad for the people killed, for their family and friends and for the Muslim community as a whole.
The governor-general of NZ has declared that automatic weapons will now be outlawed which is a win. But it is only a small win amongst great loss. Jacinda Adern has once again proven to be the leader we all need and can be proud of. She has shown grace and compassion and even went so far as to wear a hijab to show solidarity when she visited the refugee centre in Christchurch.
The growing islamophopia has been pretty obvious to most for a while, and with the media sensationalising the Muslim ‘threat of terror’ and outspoken douche-weasels like Fraser ‘egg-face’ Anning spewing vitriolic bullshit about the Muslim community, something like this tragedy was sadly probably inevitable.
But never in a million years would I have ever thought that it would be in Christchurch that something like this would happen.
My hope is that this is a wake-up-call for many. I hope they take a look at their own islamophobic tendencies and realise that this event is the extreme outcome of these racist thoughts.
I can’t imagine how vulnerable and scared those in the Muslim community must feel at the moment. This is certainly not an isolated incident and I’m sure most in the community have felt the building hatred for a while now. Trump trying repeatedly to put a Muslim ban in place is just one example of this.
Recently some good friends of mine had a baby. I have thought about her a lot over the weekend. I’ve thought about her because she has been born a girl, born Arab and born Muslim and what world has she been born into?
Will she be persecuted? Will she face sexism and racism and bigotry?
Or, will things be different by the time she is old enough to understand?
I hope so.
I hope that by that time events like the Muslim massacre in Christchurch, will be a far off memory. A sad tale in the history books that we have learned from and moved on from.
I hope she never has to feel scared because of her race or religion. I hope she never has to face the ugly face of white supremacy.
I hope so dearly that we change our ways by then.