The anniversary of the dreadful March 15 mosque attacks approaches, and we all expect this to be an opportunity for Jacinda to grandstand, don a headscarf, hug people and delight the international media with her kindness and fairy dust. She will also be hoping that it will help her flagging popularity at home. After all, isn’t this why people love Jacinda? She is a hopeless prime minister in charge of a hopeless government, but she can give hugs like no one else.

There is just one tiny fly in the ointment for Jacinda’s plans to improve her image, however. It seems that Muslims do not want a memorial service to mark the awful occasion. In general, this is not the way that Muslims behave. A terrible event like this is not commemorated; those affected are hardly likely to have forgotten about it and Muslims, in general, would prefer to simply be allowed to get on with their lives and not be dragged out in front of the cameras while Jacinda improves her chances of a cushy posting at the UN.

Members of the Muslim community are unhappy about a planned service to mark one year since the Christchurch terror attack.

But it will go ahead with their reluctant blessing.

This is disgraceful. This event is not all about Jacinda, although that is how it will be. It is not like a wedding anniversary or a celebration of man’s walking on the moon. It was the day that families were torn apart, lives were wrecked, people were traumatised, where some were injured or disabled for the rest of their lives… why indeed would anyone want to celebrate, or commemorate such an awful event?

The Christchurch City Council said it had been in touch with those affected since October as part of organising the event.

However, Otago Muslim Association president Mohammed Rizwan said many of the victims and their families were not consulted about the service, and were unhappy it was going ahead.

Other Muslim associations have also distanced themselves from commemorative services.

Part of the issue was that in Islamic culture, marking anniversaries was not typically done, Rizwan said.

I can think of lots of reasons why they do not want to remember this one. Many of those trying to move on with their lives would undoubtedly rather forget it.

“We remember every day what has happened, and pray for those who have lost their lives every day.

“We do not need a fixed day to actually remember them.”

He said those affected were “just informed” that a service would be happening, rather than being consulted about whether they wanted one.

“If you talk to the victims and families of the victims, most of them will tell you, they don’t want it.

“They just want to move on; they don’t want to remember it again.”

But this is not about those who were affected by the terrible tragedy. This is about Jacinda, who needs to raise her profile at home. She has just done her best to secure the votes of Kiwis living in Australia, particularly those who commit crimes, and now she has to try to shore up support back here.

There is no tragedy that she is not prepared to exploit for her own gain.

He said the Dunedin City Council had consulted the association about holding a memorial event but, after getting feedback, decided against it.

“They respected our wishes.”

He accepted the service was happening, but his organisation would not be promoting it or attending.

A Newspaper.

Good on Dunedin Council, but then again, look at it this way. They were probably allowed not to hold a service. After all, Jacinda cannot be in two places at once, can she?


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