The Muslim community in South Africa addressed an open letter praising New Zealand Prime Minister (PM) Jacinda Ardern in light of her response to the mass shooting in two Christchurch mosques.
The South African Muslim Network, the Union of Muslim Students Association and the South African National Muslim Women Forum were only three out of 70 groups that were involved in the sending of the letter.
In it they expressed how heart-warming Arden’s words and actions had been in the aftermath of the shootings. They added that the way she drove citizens to support and mourn with the Muslim community in New Zealand was a lesson to the world.
“We wish you and your country strength in this time of sorrow and pray that the future of New Zealand is one of enduring peace and security,” said the letter.
PM Arden was also honoured in Dubai when the Burj Khalifa was lit with an image of her in a hijab, embracing a woman after the shooting, with ‘salaam’ (peace) visible in the image.
At a vigil in Auckland, PM Arden said her actions were not based on leadership but rather on the humanity of her fellow citizens.
United Arab Emirates PM Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said Arden and New Zealanders had won the respect of 1.5 million Muslims across the world.
Petitions to have Arden nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize have circulated.