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PM Jacinda Ardern Says New Zealand Killer Doesn't Deserve to Be Named, the Internet Agrees

Ardern has been praised by all and sundry for every effort she's made to be a source of comfort for her country in this time of crisis, and be the strong leader her constituents need.

Shantanu David | News18.com

Updated:March 19, 2019, 8:24 AM IST
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PM Jacinda Ardern Says New Zealand Killer Doesn't Deserve to Be Named, the Internet Agrees
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern meets representatives of the Muslim community at the Canterbury Refugee Centre in Christchurch. (Image: AP)

Ever since the tragic news of the New Zealand mosque shooting broke, the country's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has handled the entire situation with quiet but determined courage and grace. The exemplary manner in which she has conducted herself, and the investigation from the very beginning has won her plaudits from around the world.

Immediately after the shooting, Ardern promised the swift passing of gun control laws to ensure such an incident is never repeated again. While addressing her nation's government she said “you will never hear me mention” the name of the alleged Christchurch gunman. “Speak the names of those who were lost rather than the name of the man who took them,” she added.

Following the brutal slaying of 50 Muslims by fitness trainer Brenton Tarrant at two mosques in Christchurch on Friday, Ardern addressed the media the same evening, in what became a highly circulated and acclaimed address, which included the words, "We are a proud nation of more than 200 ethnicities, 160 languages. And amongst that diversity we share common values. And the one that we place the currency on right now is our compassion and support for the community of those directly affected by this tragedy. And secondly, the strongest possible condemnation of the ideology of the people who did this. You may have chosen us – we utterly reject and condemn you."

On Saturday, when Ardern visited members of the Muslim community in Christchurch, she demonstrated that unity in diversity, donned in a somber black headscarf as she interacted with the injured, the relatives of those killed, and others. "This is not New Zealand. The only part of the incident we have seen over the past 24 to 36 hours that is New Zealand is the support that you are seeing now," she said.

While Ardern concentrated on comforting the bereaved, instead of making it a photo-op, one particular picture taken by Christchurch council photographer Kirk Hargreaves has gone viral around the world, and has become an encapsulation of the effect of the killings on the otherwise peaceful nation of New Zealand. Hargreaves took a picture of Ardern from outside the community hall where she was visiting with members of Christchurch's Muslim community, and the genuine sorrow in her eyes along with the concern on her face touched everyone who saw the picture.

Indeed, Ardern has been praised by all and sundry for every effort she's made to be a source of comfort for her country in this time of crisis, and be the strong leader her constituents need.

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