A True Leader
Whilst New Zealanders were submerged in grief, commemorating the death of over fifty Muslim worshipers, who were ruthlessly gunned down by a white Australian supremacist, Brent Tarrant, New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, came to her nation’s rescue and in a most profound way that ultimately showed what type of leader she was. She wore a Muslim head scarf, known as a hijab. This was after the dastardly and was meant to reassure the Muslim community of her solidarity with them and, indirectly, her abhorrence of the violent act.
What she did was most unconventional but absolutely ingenious. It was a clear message to white supremacists in her country and those in the rest of the world that minority groups have her backing and support.
They must have felt most reassured that they are welcome in her country without fear or prejudice. This must have come across as a smack in the face of the many right wing supremacy groups all over the world.
Yes, she had her share of critics, who questioned her reason for wearing the hijab, but that did not deter her from wearing it.
It was an excellent way to send a message, especially the western world, that your dress code should not define you nor should it prejudice you in anyway in democracies that enshrine the right of people to practice their culture without fear or favour.
At the memorial service in Christchurch, attended by over 20,000 mourners, she said, “We are not immune to the viruses of hate, of fear, of other. We have never been. But we can be the nation that discovers the cure. And so to each of us as we go from here, we have work to do.”
This simple act had far reaching consequences and New Zealanders promptly followed suit. If only we had more world leaders doing the same and promoting unity in diversity.
Let us salute this great lady for rising to the occasion and applying the right balm to her countrymen’s pain with her sincere and unconventional approach that took everyone by surprise and made her the darling of the world. We have watched her with envy, wishing we too could have leaders like her.
Let us hope this type of violence never repeats itself anywhere in the world.