Global non-profit group Who is Hussain? has paid tribute to Christchurch City Council for the leadership it demonstrated following the 15 March mosque shootings.
Representatives of the group, along with Iman Gamal Fouda from the Al Noor Masjid, presented Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel and Council's Citizens and Community General Manager Mary Richardson with a plaque in recognition of the Council’s compassion and hard work in the immediate aftermath of the deadly attacks.
“We have witnessed your hard work and admire your thoughtfulness after the devastating events that took place in Christchurch on March 15th. You have shown New Zealand and the whole world your courage and selflessness by giving help to those from whom you had no hope of getting anything back,’’ says Who is Hussain? Christchurch Branch representative Zahra Hussaini.
“We deeply feel that if you had not played your vital role in the background to support the victims and Christchurch city, we would not have been able to stand on our feet again as a nation.’’
Mayor Dalziel says she is proud of the way the city responded to the mosque shootings.
“In the days and weeks that followed the shootings we responded with an outpouring of compassion, love and kindness. We refused to be divided; we stood united with our Muslim brothers and sisters. We showed that hate has no place in our city.''
Council Chief Executive Dr Karleen Edwards says she is proud of the way the Council worked in partnership with the Muslim communities and all the agencies involved in the response to the mosque shootings to bring people together in a time of deep shock and sorrow.
“An enormous amount of work went on behind-the-scenes to support and organise public events like the Call to Prayer and National Memorial Service in North Hagley Park and to ensure families whose loved ones were killed in the mosque shootings could bury them with dignity and grace,'' Dr Edwards says.
“I take great hope from our response to this tragedy. The challenge now is to make sure we continue to demonstrate the values that were shown in immediate aftermath of the shootings. We must continue to work together to ensure that as a city we celebrate diversity in all its forms and provide a welcoming, safe environment for everyone,’’ adds the Mayor.
Who is Hussain? is inspired by the example of 7th century revolutionary leader Hussain who championed social justice and equality. The group, which has branches in Auckland and Christchurch, encourages communities around the world to organise charitable events for the common good.