MSA Hosts Memorial For New Zealand Victims

Courtesy of

Safia Ahmed , Staff Writer

 On Friday, March 22nd, MSA (Muslim Students Association) and Amnesty International  made a joint effort to honor the lives of the 50 lives that were lost in the New Zealand terrorist attack.

  The memorial service was held in front of the library during lunch. Several counselors and teachers took part in the prayer. Many students had joined and watched as MSA recited a Dua, an act of worship to their lord. The memorial lasted until the end of lunch and was ended with a moment of silence for the victims involved in the attack.

  The attack occurred on March 15th at the Al- Noor mosque near Hagley Park in New Zealand during the Friday prayer or Jumu’ah prayer. The shooter had filmed the mass homicide from his helmet camera. As he entered the mosque, a man, Haji-Daoud Nabi, had greeted him with the words “Hello Brother” before he was shot to death.

New Zealand has been known as a safe place to travel with very low crime rates; however, after this tragedy, it has turned to a place of fear.  

  Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, had said this attack was “one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”

  Ardern has supported the families who lost a loved one and has banned assault rifles as well as creating powerful gun control laws.

  Uzair Pasta (11),  president of MSA had said, “There is always a tragic event, then we mourn and after a few weeks: silence. But those families that lost their loved ones will not forget the day their family was taken. I hope that through this event people would realize that prayers and thoughts are not enough, actions need to be taken.”

  Three speeches were given during the memorial to prove that discriminating a person based on their race or religion is not right. Aleeza Adnan, Uzair Pasta, and Ulia Zaman (president of Amnesty International) had each given one speech.

  In her speech, Adnan said, “No religion has ever been about hate. No religion will ever be about hate.”

  Their speeches were very bold and strong, they focused on the same aspect, but explained it many different ways. They spread the message of sister and brotherhood and how nothing will ever change in that we are all the same.   

  Lina Miyazaki (10), had attended the event and said, “This memorial was very emotional. I felt good being there and supporting the Muslim community, it was different but I liked it. Most people do not have the chance to hear these things and I believe if more people join as one, less violence would occur in the world.”

  After this terrorist attack, several people from different cultures or religions have started acting up and standing up for the Muslim community. On March 22nd, about 5,000 people attended the prayer outside of Al-Noor mosque to take a moment of silence for those who passed away.

  Muniza Ahmed (11), vice president of MSA said, “When we heard of this tragic event, we were very heartbroken and we wanted to recognize those who were killed such as those who were victims to the fear that other people as well as the man who killed them felt. This memorial was a recognition to the lives that were lost as well as a reminder that things like this happen but that does not give it the right to be normalized nor forgotten.”

  This attack has opened many eyes and has shown what hatred can do to people. This act of terror was not right and will never be forgotten.