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Underside of terror

first_imgThe world was taken by surprise when an utterly defenceless and unsuspecting lot of people gathered to offer prayers at New Zealand’s Christchurch mosques and were gunned down simply for the names they bore. The immediate reason for this terror attack is the gun laws that make it easy for civilians to possess firearms. This grave public concern seems to have been addressed rather promptly with the Prime Minister’s announcement to alter gun laws in the country and that there isn’t a better time to do it than now – remarkably a very distinct stand to take compared to the world’s bulldozing superpower, the USA. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern advocated a wider public health approach that seeks to reduce deaths from gun violence; instead of focusing on the unrealistic change in human behavior of possible murders, she assertively talks about creating an environment where people are less likely to fall victim to gun violence. Without the rhetorics of labeling perpetrators of gun violence as good or bad or unwell, she acknowledged the seriousness of the hazard of civilians possessing weapons and that it is an inherently dangerous thing and that guns must be made much harder to get. As much as the menace of gun violence keeps the discussions going, the underlying but still much too obvious matter of white supremacy is brought to highlight by none other than Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern herself. The popular rant of ‘terrorism does not have a religion’ was empty noise until now. Ms. Ardern’s compassion and leadership have directed attentions to the underside of terrorism: just intense intolerance for the ‘other’, without any labels of religion or ethnicity. Her empathy and solidarity with the targeted community have a set a formidable example of good leadership on the global platform. Her sensitivity to the bereaved and firmness against the perpetrator of the attacks who deserves no sympathy or attention, is for world leaders to appreciate and emulate.last_img

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