Mosque shooting – victim statements

Surviving victims of the Christchurch mosque shootings began to present their victim impact statements in court yesterday – the actual sentencing of Brenton Tarrant will happen on Thursday morning at the earliest.

The statements give victims a chance to have their say in front of the person who callously injured them or murdered their family members and friends.

Tributes and defiance in courtroom 12

Now they were having to make peace with the unimaginable, a heinous murderous attack on the holiest of days, a Friday, in the holiest of places, a mosque. Yesterday, the first wave of March 15 attack victims and families of the Shaheed, or martyrs, faced the gunman and told their stories.

Widows spoke of their struggles, parents recounted how their children keep asking where their grandfather is. Families paid tribute to their lost loved ones, their achievements, their courage and bravery.

Raw and painful testimonies showed how victims and families are still living this tragedy. Bodies still containing bullets or shrapnel – and always will. People who are waiting for their next surgery, or fighting ACC for help, who expect to live the rest of their lives in constant pain because of nerve damage.

Some are too mentally traumatised to work, and are struggling financially. Whose suffering is so close to the surface they’re easily angered and reduced to tears. They can’t sleep, and are paralysed by hopelessness and unimaginable grief. They dread Fridays.

It’s no wonder. They’re haunted by horrific images, flashbacks of the terrible attack.

But having their say in court gives them an opportunity to deal with their trauma and grief.

And to show their defiance and strength.

Khaled Majed Abd’el Rauf Alnobani saw people he knew get shot at An-Nur. He outlined his struggles with everyday life through an interpreter. As he finished, he pointed at the gunman and said in English: “We have become more united. You have made that, and thank you for that.”

Janna Ezat, whose son Hussein Al-Umari died at Masjid An-Nur, recounted the Islamic saying: If we are able to forgive, forgive. There was only one choice, said Ezat, a calligraphy artist. “I have decided to forgive you, Mr Tarrant, because I don’t have hate, I don’t have revenge.”

Al-Umari’s sister, Aya, said: “Now you’ve killed him I’ve turned to God and that’s made my faith in Islam even stronger.”

Marium Gul’s parents, Karam Bibi and Ghulam Hussain, and brother Muhammad Zeshan Raza, all died at the Linwood mosque. In a video statement recorded in Pakistan, Gul says the gunman should repent for what he’s done. “But more important is the realisation that hate towards Islam is wrong – Islam is a peaceful religion.”

These were ordinary people living in New Zealand who happen to be involved in one of many religions.

The vast majority of fellow New Zealanders have expressed sympathy and solidarity with the survivors.

Christchurch mosque attack victims address gunman: ‘We did not deserve your actions’

Victims of the Christchurch terror attack

Christchurch mosque shooter appears moved as victim’s mother offers forgiveness

Mosque survivor: ‘I have about 1000 bits of shrapnel throughout my body

Leave a comment

23 Comments

  1. Jack

     /  25th August 2020

    “I’ve turned to God.”
    God is the creator of our emotions
    Grief cycles can be nut cases
    I wish our Muslim friends healing, peace and happiness in the name of Jesus Christ my Lord my God.
    Together we are Kiwis.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  25th August 2020

      As you have been turfed out of your old church,why not join a new one.

      Bishop Tamaki will surely welcome you to the fold.

      He takes Visa and Mastercard,not sure about Q Card.Praise the …Lord.

      Reply
      • Jack

         /  25th August 2020

        I belong to Kiwi Kirk Blazer. You don’t quite get it do you?
        What happened to all your………..B……? There are less of those lately.
        Our Muslims need our understanding and compassion. They deserve it.
        Already asked Bish to repent of leading a cult. He gets it less.

        Reply
  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  25th August 2020

    Will Tarrant cling to his delusions in an effort to retain his ego or deflate and collapse?

    Reply
    • Jack

       /  25th August 2020

      Do you have a wish either way?
      Since you asked – For the sake of our Kiwi Muslims I hope Tarrant’s demise goes so far as collapse and beyond, right to the nth degree, but back in Australia, not on our Muslim taxpayers.
      I think he would probably already have realised it’s an insignificant minority who possess even a smidgen of liking what he did.
      I think Kiwis have the ability to keep each other honest. Being a God sort myself I can see how our dear Muslims go in cycles of emotional turmoil, including the desire to forgive and love such a loser as Tarrant. But more importantly I want to validate Kiwi Muslims, I want to say to them – don’t forgive him. It’s not how God works. Your forgiveness won’t help him. You don’t need to forgive him in order to be acceptable to God.
      Not word economical, sorry.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  25th August 2020

        My wish would be for him to abandon his hatreds and the hell they created for everyone and rejoin humanity.

        Reply
        • Jack

           /  25th August 2020

          A how requires an expenditure of words
          A bit risky when one prefers few

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  25th August 2020

            “Sorry” is quite economical.

            Reply
            • Jack

               /  25th August 2020

              ‘Oops’ is shorter. My stupid.
              (Are you talking about my “sorry” above or some sort of worldly sorry from the criminal?)
              ‘Accountable’ is word economical.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  25th August 2020

              Sorry from Tarrant. It would speak to humanity’s heart.

            • Jack

               /  25th August 2020

              Until the next act of terrorism. Sorry is not enough

            • Jack

               /  25th August 2020

              Humanity is asking for the “why”

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  25th August 2020

              You think? The delusions seem pretty obvious to me.

            • Jack

               /  25th August 2020

              Delusions do not become obvious until they are owned by the individual. That’s when sorry is not enough

  3. I suspect that he won’t be laughing as he did in court when he’s in a cell (in solitary confinement ?) for life. The laugh will be on him; he won’t even be able to top himself.

    He still seems not to ‘get it, and perhaps he’s not capable of it. But even if he does, he will never be free again.

    Reply
  4. Corky

     /  25th August 2020

    Watching the news coverage, I note these insights. They may be irrelevant; Freudian slips, I don’t know…but I noticed them.

    1- One woman said her son died a martyr.

    2- Tarrant laughed in court…at another white man.

    3- A reporter used the term ”incredible community.

    3- Clapping was allowed in court…will Tarrant have similar leeway? Would we have similar privileges in a Muslim countries courts?

    I hope Muslims are grateful for receiving full justice to the best of our ability within the constraints of our legal constitution.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  25th August 2020

      The Muslims are here because Muslim countries are crap. Some of them probably wish Tarrant would be treated as he would be in the countries they fled. But I think most will have been moved by better things.

      Reply
      • I can’t believe the pettiness of Corky’s post. 51 people were murdered in cold blood by this apology for a man, and Corky snipes at people applauding a victim statement.

        What is the relevance of it being a white man being laughed at ? None that I can see.

        This was the victim impact reading, not the actual trial.

        Why was the woman’s son not a martyr as anyone who dies for their faith is ? For all we know, he could have died saving someone else.

        A little compassion and respect for the victims of this mass murder would be appreciated, rather than nitpicking criticism.

        Reply
    • Jack

       /  25th August 2020

      This act of terrorism makes us all feel on tenterhooks but I hope it’s the Kiwi way to have our hearts out to the victims in solidarity. I’d like to make some observations based on yours Corky. I haven’t watched the court proceedings.
      1. From our Muslims there are a range of coping mechanisms reported by media. Some of the descriptions of these mind comforts highlight the cult of Islam and the grip it has as a religion on the minds of its adherents.
      2. My proposal (above) that Tarrant has perhaps realised by now that no one of significance recognises anything good in what he did is naive. It is despicable that he laughed and received an audience for that.
      3. Our community of kindness as a nation is vital to us.
      4. Whatever works for showing respect to Muslim Kiwis is fine by me. Since we are comparing privileges/legal pathways, no – Christians do not get a helpful time in Muslim countries.

      I hope our Muslim community is comforted.
      I hope Church grows. It is the Kiwi churches’ fault that terror got a foothold in NZ. (By neglect of the Gospel and by a myriad of soft corruption which the leaders, for decades, forgot that God sees.)

      Reply
      • It is no one’s fault but the murderer’s that this massacre happened. How dare you blame the churches for the actions of someone who wasn’t even born here ? He came to NZ for the sole purpose of doing a massacre of innocent people at prayer.

        Shifting the blame is specious and inane.

        Reply
        • Jack

           /  26th August 2020

          No need to het up over one Christian’s daring. No harm done.

          Reply
          • Jack

             /  26th August 2020

            Various reports bring up our Muslim’s need to ask, “Why?”.
            This post is about the victims and what helps them.
            It’s inane indeed to break down communication in asking the why.
            In danger of being attacked by Kitty, I dare to share that this crime of terrorism was terribly triggering for me as a victim of our churches hopelessness.
            Yes, our churches have avoided accountability in NZ, for generations.
            Discussions re the why of this act of terrorism are vital.
            I believe that if Kiwi Kirk grows no terrorist will ever dare here again. How is that notion worthy of ridicule?
            The why looks backwards, the how looks forward.
            Responses like Kitty’s prolong the backwards glance – extending Kiwi’s grief process.
            Kitty’s response is a kind of violence.

            Reply
            • Jack

               /  26th August 2020

              The fact that Kitty used “specious” reveals that she well considered my plausible sharing around of blame – then ran a mile, after harassing one lone Christian of course.
              Another churchy exposed. I’m doing well this week.

              Moved on nicely after my comment last night. Kitty pulled me back in with her provocation. She could learn to leave well alone if she has nothing of value to offer.

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