The government of New Zealand has expressed appreciation to the Muslim Public Affairs Centre (MPAC), Nigeria for its support to the country and its Muslim community in the aftermath of the terror attack that killed 51 Muslims in Christchurch city.
This is contained in a press statement issued by Abdulwarees Solanke, the Director, Media & Strategic Communications Department, MPAC, Nigeria and made available to The Renaissance on Monday in Lagos.
According to the statement, the New Zealand embassy in Addis Ababa, through which the letter was sent, acknowledged the MPAC’s letter
Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern
Acknowledging MPAC’s letter to the New Zealand Prime Minister, the country’s
The embassy thanked the Nigeria-based MPAC for its kind letter of condolences and appreciation regarding the terrorist attack, assuring that the letter had been forwarded to the office of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
“Thank you once again for your support at this difficult time,” the New Zealand embassy expressed.
Following the disheartening incident of March 15 in Christchurch, New Zealand, MPAC despatched a four-paragraph “letter of Consolation and Appreciation” to Prime Minister Jacinda Arden, through the country’s embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
In the letter dated March 31, the MPAC Executive Chairman, Disu Kamor on behalf of the organisation, was full of empathy for the victims.
MPAC then praised the PM’s courage and leadership when she forcefully denounced Islamophobia and called for a global campaign against hate.
The MPAC’s four-paragraph but powerful letter reads:
“We wish to express our utmost shock at the mindless murder of innocent worshippers in mosques in Christchurch city by two terrorists during the Friday prayer on 15 March 2019.
“We share in the pain and misery of the Muslim community in New Zealand and the entire people of New Zealand who came together in a strong spirit of unity and stood shoulder-to-shoulder with their Muslim co-citizens in revulsion and absolute rejection of Islamophobia and hate.
“Our solemn prayers are with the victims, the injured, their families and loved ones and indeed the entire people of New Zealand. Please accept our deepest condolences and we pray that God Almighty will reward your courage and kindness.
“May God grant your nation peace and security, amen.
“The entire team of the Muslim Public Affairs Centre, MPAC, is particularly happy and praise your courage and leadership when you came out with one of the most forceful denunciations of Islamophobia on record, and deliberately called for a global campaign against hate.
“Your exemplary role and leadership during this major terrorist attack will remain a beckon of hope for those aspiring to see courageous leadership in a world that is increasingly witnessing indiscriminate bloodshed, extremism and far-right radicalism.
“It is clear to see that the intention of those terrorists who planned and carried out the despicable acts of terrorism against the Muslim community of New Zealand have come to nought.
“Surely, the people of New Zealand, under your leadership, have shown strong spirit, genuine compassion and true commitment to peaceful co-existence.
“By actions and words, you have demonstrated that acts of indiscriminate violence, acts of hate or terror attack targeting a faith community, even if they are a minority, cannot be tolerated.
“Your example has become the model for others currently in the position of power and it will serve as an inspiration to many generations to come.
“Madam, as we wish you long life and more meritorious services to your nation and humanity, we pray that God Almighty will unite all your citizens on goodness, cure the hearts of the hate cultists and give us peace, love, justice, security and prosperity everywhere.
“Please convey our heartfelt sympathy and prayers to the families of the bereaved, the injured and the Muslim community of New Zealand.
From Addis Ababa, Ethiopia came the following acknowledgement:
“Kia ora Disu Kamor,
Thank you for your kind letter of condolences and appreciation regarding the terrorist attack in New Zealand. We have forwarded your letter to the Office of Prime Minister Ardern.
Thank you once again for your support at this difficult time.
New Zealand Embassy Addis Ababa”
The MPAC’s letter to New Zealand was also in consonance with the organisation’s Core Values which states:
“Mercy: “We sent thee (O Muhammad) not, but as a Mercy for all creatures” (Quran 21:107)
“Justice: “O you who have attained to faith! Be ever steadfast in upholding equity, bearing witness to the truth for the sake of God, even though it be against your own selves or your parents and kinsfolk. Whether the person concerned be rich or poor, God’s claim takes precedence over (the claims of) either of them. Do not, then, follow your own desire, lest you swerve from justice: for if you distort (the truth), behold, God is indeed aware of all that you do!”(Quran 4:135)
Peace: “If they seek peace, then seek you peace. And trust in God for He is the One that heareth and knoweth all things.” (Quran 8:61)
Human Dignity: “Now, indeed, We have conferred dignity on all the children of Adam, and borne them over land and sea, and provided for them sustenance out of the good things of life, and favoured them far above most of Our creation.” (Quran 17:70)
Freedom: “There is no compulsion in religion; truly the right way has become clearly distinct from error; therefore, whoever rejects Satan (and what he calls to) and believes in Allah, he indeed has laid hold on the firmest handhold, which shall not break off, and Allah is Hearing, Knowing.“(Quran 2:256) “He who is rightly guided, it is for himself; and he who goes astray, it is to his own detriment. No soul can bear another’s burden.” (Quran 17: 15)
Equality for All: “O men! Behold, We have created you all out of a male and a female, and have made you into nations and tribes, so that you may come to know one another. Verily, the noblest of you in the sight of God is the one who is most deeply conscious of Him. Behold, God is all-knowing, all-aware.”(Quran 49:13)
Sanctity of All Human Life: Nor take life- which Allah has made sacred – except for just cause. And if anyone is slain wrongfully, we have given his heir authority (to demand retaliation or to forgive): but let him not exceed bounds in the matter of taking life, for he is helped (by the Law) (Quran 17:33)
(Imam Al-Ghazali has quoted this verse and drew the conclusion that “in respect of the sanctity of life and the prohibition of aggression against it, Muslims and non-Muslims are equal.
An attack on the personal safety of non-Muslims invokes the same punishment in this world and the Hereafter”. [Muhammad Al-Ghazali, Huquq al-Insan, p. 54])
“Do not kill yourselves, for verily Allah has been to you most merciful.” (Quran 4: 29)
“….take not life which Allah has made sacred.” (Quran 6:151)
Meanwhile, MPAC has concluded arrangement for the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria (MMPN) towards the implementation of its Project Muslim VIP, a media centred initiative to strengthen Muslim Voice, project Islamic Identity and facilitate Muslim representation and participation in public, national and global affairs
The launching which holds in Lagos on Sunday, April 21 at LCCI exhibition and conference centre also offers the platform to formally inaugurate it’s Muslimedia Faculty and Media & Strategic Communications Department.
By our correspondent