Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Giving the finger to the Nazis

Parliament met for the first time today since Friday's act of terrorism, with an abbreviated timetable for a condolence motion. It opened with a procession of a dozen religious leaders of different faiths. Parliament's normal christian-centric opening prayer was preceded by an Islamic one.

This is what the Nazis say they fear. But rather than being some sort of sinister "takeover", here it was done as a sign that Muslims are New Zealanders, that they belong - as do members of those other religions, and those not represented, and those of no religion at all. That in New Zealand, religion is not exclusive of nationality, any more than ethnic or cultural background is.

What would the Nazis hate? For New Zealand to embrace the Muslim community. For us all to get along, in celebration of our differences, and protect each other against hate. Parliament gave a powerful symbol of that today. Now we all need to live it.