O you who believe! Seek help in patience and prayer. Truly God is with the patient.
And do not say of those who are killed in the path of God “They are dead.” Rather, they are alive, although you do not perceive them.
And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth and lives and fruit, but proclaim good tidings to the patient,
Who, when a disaster strikes them, say “Truly we belong to God, and to Him we shall return.”
Those are they upon whom are blessings from their Lord, and mercy. And those are they who are guided [by God].
Qur’an 2:153-157 (my translation)
Words fail when contemplating the horror visited upon Christchurch, a city of about 405,000 people on the South Island of New Zealand — and when considering, with Moses 7:24-37 in mind, the terrible fact that this evil act was carried out in a place called, precisely, Christchurch. Indeed, Satan “looked up and laughed, and his angels rejoiced.”
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may disdain our thoughts and prayers, but we mortals are powerless to do much in terrible occasions such as this. We cannot bring back those who have been murdered.
There are some mundane things that we can do, and, of course, the authorities in New Zealand (and perhaps elsewhere) can and will seek to bring to justice those who planned the attack and carried it out — although earthly justice will be insufficient in this case. But all of us should reflect upon what happened there. All of us should pray for the victims and their families, and vow that we will not contribute in any way to such abominations in the future. Rather, we will be peacemakers, as the Savior asks us to be.
In that context, I mention an Australian senator by the name of Fraser Anning, who took the occasion of the Christchurch massacres to issue a statement including the following:
“The real cause of bloodshed on New Zealand streets today is the immigration program which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place. Let us be clear, while Muslims may have been the victims today, usually they are the perpetrators.”
Some time ago, Senator Anning was in the news for a speech in the Australian parliament in which he called for a “final solution” to immigration. Perhaps he’s merely astoundingly ignorant, but it’s impossible for me, anyway, to hear the words final solution without thinking immediately of the Nazis’ notorious “final solution” or Endlösung. What they proposed as die Endlösung der Judenfrage (“the final solution to the Jewish question”) was genocide.
As an aside, I can’t help but wonder whether there might be — there probably isn’t, but it’s not quite inconceivable — some connection, at least slight and/or indirect, between the mass murders in Christchurch and this curious little story, also from Christchurch: