The leadership of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-AW) offers its deepest condolences to the people of New Zealand and foremost to all those who lost family members and friends in the senseless slaughter of innocent worshippers in the two terrorist attacks against mosques in the city of Christchurch, perpetrated by White supremacist extremists. Our prayers are equally with the fallen themselves and the many other victims gravely wounded, now struggling for life after being attacked in a sanctuary of spiritual peace that no violence should ever stain.
We unequivocally condemn such a monstrous act of mass murder that is correctly decried as none other than terrorism, but also must be understood as a genocidal crime, where all of the victims were singled out for elimination solely for being Muslim. What took place was a crime against humanity. Places of worship regardless of their denomination are not shooting galleries and the senseless slaughter that took place in New Zealand was an act of profound cowardice, that any human being with compassion and mercy in their heart must repudiate without reservation. Murder is always murder.
As Sudanese enduring an unending genocide in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile State, perpetrated by the dictatorship led by indicted genocidaire, President Omar al Bashir, we would be remiss morally to fail to offer our solidarity to those in New Zealand, weeping tears they did not expect to shed today. We feel a natural empathy for all victims of terrorism whether the killers are non-state actors or servants of the state, because the lethal result is the same and the injury done to the human spirit is universal. The carnage in Christchurch was motivated by a blind hatred, cultural prejudice, ignorance and racist pathology. This too is something we are all too familiar with after thirty years of dictatorship and the ideological fanaticism that anchors it. This terrible equality of suffering, violent death and injustice allows us to send a fraternal embrace far away to the people of New Zealand and to offer our deepest empathy as your nation mourns the worst act of terror ever witnessed in your history.
That such a heinous crime took place in New Zealand, one of the most progressive, tolerant and advanced democracies on earth is all the more disturbing and unjust. At a juncture in history where arguably we witness the second great coming of fascism, across cultures and continents and hate speech is increasingly found in the mainstream, promoting ethno-nationalism, a rabid sectarianism, all manner of extremist ideologies, fear of otherness and the demonization of peoples, even from the lips of heads of state, we applaud New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s moving words in the face of this tragedy and her unstinting support for the migrants and refugees counted among the victims.
When millions of our men, women and children violently uprooted from their homes, fleeing for their lives, face daily misery and uncertainty as refugees or as internally displaced people and endure a catalog of abuses from extra-judicial execution, torture, rape, disease, starvation, chemical warfareand being sold into slavery, the outside world largely ignores, Prime Minister Ardern’s humanity shines through and is heartening to us. The diversity and inclusiveness of New Zealand’s vibrant, free civil society is an example we seek to emulate when our day of liberation will come and Sudan may be forged into a pluralistic secular society itself, respectful of all peoples and creeds regardless of race, origin or religion.
New Zealand is a model of freedom that inspires us to seek change, not through the cynical divide and conquer policies that ravage us, but the enlightened unity and humanism the Prime Minister expounds and upholds. When so few in the international community have expressed concern for our plight, New Zealand has repeatedly been a voice for reason and compassion, so while we are poor and forlorn we do not hesitate to stand beside New Zealand on this black day of mourning and share your indignation at the violation you have suffered.
In shocking contrast to Prime Minister’s Ardern’s lucid wisdom and generosity of spirit, we equally condemn, the heartless and maladroit statements made by Australian Senator from Queensland, William Fraser Anning, blaming the Christchurch massacre on Muslim immigration, as if refugees and migrants seeking new lives in New Zealand were responsible for their own deaths. Anning’s callous insensitivity towards the victims and transparent xenophobia is ugly to behold and in keeping with the murderous rationale of the key perpetrator of the terror attack, himself an Australian. Anning owes an apology to the people of New Zealand and is a disgrace to his office.
We do not have a panacea to offer that will miraculously resolve the wave of violent extremism that plagues humanity, where New Zealand is the latest casualty. We are ourselves weary of bloodshed but secure in our struggle for liberation and human dignity where we have no alternative but to resist our oppression as we face nothing less than extermination from our own aberrant cultural variant of the same blind chauvinist hatred that brought terror to Christchurch. But as we fight in the name of freedom and democracywe will keep New Zealand in our hearts as a beacon of sanity and hope that points us to all we aspire to become. We know full well New Zealand will not surrender to evil and will keep shining its light for pluralism, equality and tolerance, unwavering in its commitment to democracy and a free society.
We praise the courage and professionalism of the New Zealand police and emergency services in their swift response to this day of terror and commend Prime Minister Ardern’s exemplary leadership in this trying hour for her nation. It is only in moments of great adversity, not the shining days, that the true character of a people is revealed and New Zealand has held her own today. Once more we offer our heartfelt solidarity and deep regret to all in New Zealand who have suffered the cruel blow and incalculable loss of this infamous moment. Our hands will always be extended in friendship and brotherhood to the people of New Zealand, and we wish such a horrendous event did not have to come to pass, to bring us closer together in the symmetry of the horrors we both know. May a merciful God heal your wounds and your noble civic spirit carry forth your resilient nation to a better tomorrow. Stand tall, New Zealand.
Sincerely, Abdul Wahid al Nur
Chairman Sudan Liberation Movement