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The Christchurch Attack


22 March 2019

The Christchurch Attack

The Christchurch Attack

Hugh Scaffidi-Muta delivered the following speech during today's assembly, addressing the recent Christchurch attack.

As many of you would know, a week ago today a single gunman opened fire at two separate mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. The attack killed 50 people, injuring many others in a white supremacist, hate-fuelled act. What you just saw was the Prime Minister of New Zealand attending a Haka performed by a school that lost two of its students in the attack.

In response to the events, Australia showed its support with flags at half-mast and a projection of a silver fern on the Sydney opera house. But that is not all, the Eiffel tower, the empire state building and other landmarks around the world were darkened. Amsterdam, Kuwait, UK, Turkey, Russia, Italy, the Netherlands; the whole world reacts. 

The whole world has rallied in support of those who lost their lives. The whole world comes together.  We see community where there was division, support where there was grief and recognition when the world mourns. United against all terror, love will win. To prove this, the two mosques where the attacks took place will open for the first time since for today’s prayer, showing the world that they will not succumb to terror.  

The attack was committed by a man who had been radicalised to the point of extremism and violence. This man believed that the people he attacked were bad because of the religion they followed. This is called bigotry.Where someone is intolerant of someone else because they hold a different opinion. This in part is the fault of social media, Internet publications and the traditional media relying on how they portray groups and religions. It is important to remember that we are all human and the differences between us are what makes us human, our humanity. 

This man was failed. Failed by his country and his community. He was failed by the people around him. He was not shown the value of diversity, the value of humanity and the value of love. All, things we celebrate this week, harmony week.

A week where Australia comes together as a multicultural nation to prove that all people can live together in peace. The global action team has been running events at lunchtime all week. We’d like to thank all of you that came out and participated, that is a testament to the culture we have here at scotch. 

We all have a part to play, we cannot stand back and let violence grow in our communities. We all know what is right and good in this world. Let us condemn hate and violence be confident in our values our compassion, our justice and be proud of our diversity. Let the world, the whole world, because you have travelled in it.  

It is important to remember that these events are in the news because they are unusual and that some of the content I have covered today can be confronting. So, if you take anything away from my speech let it be the harmony and support that has come in the wake of these events and have faith in the people of the world that love will always win.

There may be some in our school that feel concerned about the events of last week. We are fortunate enough to live in a community where there is support. If you feel worried or just want to understand why things happen and what you can do about it. Please, talk to your friends, your teachers, your Head of House, the College Psychologists or the heads of campus. We are privileged to have such a caring community and no one should feel they are not supported. Talk about this. Spread the love.

Thank you.

Last night was a magnificent ANZAC Tribute at Centennial Park. 4,000 flags were laid, led by Scotch College student……