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To: Mayor of Auckland, Phil Goff
Public Broadcasting of Azan for Jummah Prayer
We ask the Auckland Council to allow mosques all over Auckland to publicly broadcast the call to prayer, known as the Azan (or adhan/athan), JUST ONCE to commemorate the victims and the victims' families of the recent attack on the Mosques of Christchurch. This opportunity would be best carried out in the next Jummah (Friday) prayer on March 22, 2019, or as soon as possible.
Why is this important?
Azan is a call to prayer which in many Muslim countries is broadcast publicly to let the community know it is time for prayer. For many Muslims, this call is familiar and very close to home. This act of support and solidarity for our fellow Muslims is beyond powerful and will bring joyful and comforting tears to the eyes of many in our nation. Immense solidarity will be portrayed through this act. This will no doubt condemn any further acts of such kind in the future and, most importantly, will reinstate the welcome Muslims and people of all backgrounds have had here in Aotearoa.
This country has given most people, including Muslims and migrants, everything they would never have had in their country of origin. It has given us peace, hope, tranquillity and, most of all, the opportunity to lead a fulfilled life with freedom to express religious, cultural, spiritual and personal beliefs. However, today, these privileges were jeopardised.
This was not “an act of unprecedented violence”, instead, it was a violent act of unprecedented racism and Islamophobia. By simply stating it as an act of violence does not do it justice. Muslims and migrants all over New Zealand face discrimination and racism every day. Yesterday’s overwhelming tragedy is an extreme act of that very racism and Islamophobia. In saying that, the support the Islamic community has received from everyone of all backgrounds is incredible, although, misguided. This is New Zealand. This exists in our soil. This may not be us individually, but, this mindset walks and lives among us. It is destructive to deny and refuse any association to this kind of behaviour as it does not address the root causes of the recent act of terrorism. Only when we accept there is such thing as hate in our country will we be able to move forward. These are not the values we hold as a nation, but this is us.
The work that has been done by groups and individuals in support of the victims, the victims’ families and others affected by such hate is heart-warming and uplifting. One thing we can do is show the world and the country that this mindset is unwelcome. Standing up for those on the receiving end of such terrorism is more powerful than the victims standing up for themselves. It displays an image of strength through unity, peace through togetherness and alliance between members of society.