The question many New Zealanders are asking themselves in the wake of Friday’s deadly terrorist attacks on two mosques is: Why?
Why was this island nation with fewer than 5 million people in the southwestern c
orner of the Pacific chosen for such a savage crime? Why should there be attacks on men, women an
d children who have gathered to pray? Why couldn’t the white supremacist be prevented from going on the killing spree?
In native Maori language New Zealand is “Aotearoa”, or roughly the “land of the long w
hite cloud” which appeared to offer a quiet sanctuary from many of the evils that beset our world today.
All that changed last Friday. By a crime of pure hate.
The brutality of the attacks in Christchurch has stunned New Zealanders. It
was the sort of thing that happened in “other places”. They thought their land is a “proud nation” of more than 200 ethnic gr
oups and 160 languages-a land of diversity in which “we share common values”, as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said.