We are all aware that the case of the Christchurch Terrorist who masterminded the massacre of 51 and wounding 52 Muslims during the Friday prayers on 15 March 2019 in An-Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch has now ended. He has been given the maximum sentence of life without parole that is allowed in the New Zealand Justice system.

The sentencing by the High Court Judge in Christchurch has been largely welcomed by the vast majority of the community in general and the victims’ families in particular. Indeed, a very sad episode has ended.

The New Zealand Muslim community is grateful to the Government and the relevant agencies involved in bringing the matter to a satisfactory closure. We acknowledge the different levels of impact experienced by individuals who went through this ordeal.

The Muslim community gratefully acknowledges all the support given by the New Zealand Police and a host of other organisations, government as well as non-government within the country and from overseas.

We should also give kudos to the media for supporting the victims’ families during the this traumatic ordeal lasting more than one and a half years. It has been an intense period with high emotions.

The media was very professional in handling the issues in that from the very beginning while focussing mainly on the victims rather than the perpetrator of the crime.

There is now a greater responsibility for all New Zealanders. Conversations must be held at all levels to combat “hate crime”.

We should not allow any individuals or groups white supremacists and other extremists to divide the unity and the social fabric of the New Zealand society.