Testimonios de Christchurch: Sobrevivientes y deudos hablan del peor ataque terrorista de Nueva Zelanda | Noticias del mundo

Se sacaron seis balas de mi cuerpo, pero quedan tres. Tendré discapacidades y dolores permanentes … Sin embargo, soy un turco fuerte y obstinado que se crió en combate en

Mientras yacía bajo los cadáveres de la mezquita, pensé que iba a morir. Traté de quedarme lo más quieto posible cuando el tirador regresó por segunda vez. Podía sentir la sangre y el cerebro de la gente encima de mí corriendo por mi rostro y cuello. No podía moverme ni emitir ningún sonido porque el tirador me habría ejecutado como a los demás. Se sacaron seis balas de mi cuerpo, pero quedan tres. Tendré discapacidades permanentes y dolor como resultado de estas lesiones. Sin embargo, soy un turco fuerte y obstinado que fue educado para pelear. Sigo asistiendo a la mezquita de Al Noor para las oraciones del viernes. Me siento ansioso y nervioso mientras estoy allí, paranoico ante cualquier movimiento o ruido detrás de mí. Cuando termina la oración, siento una sensación de alivio porque no me ha pasado nada. El trauma vivirá conmigo para siempre. Las vistas, el olor y el sonido de la mezquita ese día me persiguen. No preveo un futuro en el que esté libre de dolor. Sin embargo, estoy decidido a encontrar una manera positiva de superar el dolor, hacer frente a esta distancia de la familia y vivir con mis discapacidades. En el futuro, pensaré y estaré orgulloso de todo lo que he superado al caminar libremente bajo el sol.

Cobarde. Elegiste matar musulmanes, personas inocentes dentro de la mezquita cuando rezaban, desde atrás

Cobarde. Elegiste matar musulmanes, personas inocentes dentro de la mezquita mientras rezaban, desde atrás. Elegiste Nueva Zelanda para matarnos [thinking] que Nueva Zelanda nos va a culpar, que por culpa de los musulmanes ocurrió esta masacre. Pero ahora se ha convertido en una comunidad más fuerte y tú eres un perdedor. Con todas las diferentes comunidades, las religiosas, todos nos hemos unido para ser más fuertes. Eres el mayor perdedor. Todos somos ganadores. Tienes que entender esto. Mantenerse fuerte. Nueva Zelanda permanecerá unida.

Este cobarde probablemente me vio o se habrá quedado sin balas. Dejó caer su arma y corrió hacia su auto. Tiré la pistola a su ventana lateral y rompí su ventana lateral. Pude ver el miedo en sus ojos por su propia vida

Tan pronto como salí, vi que una anciana y un anciano habían sido derribados al suelo. Gritaba, gritaba, juraba: “¿Dónde estás? Adelante. Vi salir a este cobarde con chaleco antibalas y ropa militar. Le lancé una máquina Eftpos a la cabeza. Empezó a dispararme directamente desde tres o cuatro metros. Me deslicé entre los coches. Entonces vi otro cuerpo y una pistola al lado. Cogí el arma. Afortunadamente no hubo balas o eso habría sido otra historia. Fui al estacionamiento de atrás y dije: «Me estás buscando, estoy aquí». Luego escuché muchos disparos provenientes del interior de la mezquita. Corrí detrás de la mezquita. Este cobarde probablemente me vio o se habrá quedado sin balas. Dejó caer su arma y corrió hacia su auto. Tiré la pistola a su ventana lateral y rompí su ventana lateral. Pude ver el miedo por su propia vida en sus ojos. Me miró y me señaló con el dedo y dijo: «Los voy a matar a todos». Deberías agradecer a Allah, no te encontré ese día. Nunca olvidas esos dos ojos de los que huiste.

Le metiste balazos a mi marido y luchó contra la muerte –48 días, 18 cirugías – hasta su último aliento

Le metiste balas a mi marido y luchó contra la muerte, 48 días, 18 cirugías, hasta su último aliento. Su estatus fue elevado entonces a mártir de héroes y para mí a esposa de la viuda del mártir. Mi hijo mayor solo tiene cinco años de recuerdos con su padre. Mi pequeño, menos aún, no es suficiente. Veo el deseo en los ojos de mis hijos mientras ven a los otros chicos tomarse de las manos, caer sobre el césped, leer libros, construir Legos con sus papás. ¿Cómo podría yo, su madre, consolar sus corazones doloridos? Verás, mis hijos amaban tanto a su baba que saltaban todos los días para saludarlo. Lo abrazarán. Le plantarán besos por todas partes. Todos los días. De ahora en adelante, su baba ya no estará aquí para celebrar sus futuros éxitos, ni a su lado para apoyarlos y consolarlos en su período de derrota. No tendrán su baba que les guíe con el ejemplo y que les transmita los valores del trabajo duro, la valentía, el buen juicio y, sobre todo, el respeto por la vida. Dios dice en el Corán que quien mata a un alma inocente, es como si hubiera matado a toda la humanidad. Y mataste a 51. Dejaron 34 cónyuges, 92 hijos y más de un centenar de hermanos que ahora tienen que soportar la cadena perpetua de estar sin seres queridos. Sus actos atroces han unido a miles de neozelandeses y millones de comunidades internacionales en solidaridad con nosotros, las familias y sobrevivientes afectados, y denunciando con vehemencia su ideología supremacista blanca. Somos los supervivientes. Tengo la impresión de que aquí eres la víctima.

Mi padre Naeem y mi hermano Talha fueron los mejores regalos de Dios. Aprecio cada momento que pasamos juntos

Mi padre Naeem y mi hermano Talha fueron los mejores regalos de Dios. Aprecio cada momento que pasamos juntos. No poder estar con él en este mundo es devastador. A veces parece imposible continuar.

Un hombre somalí salió de la mezquita con su hijo muerto de tres años. Tomé a su hijo en sus brazos mientras se sentaba, y luego le devolví a su hijo. Nunca tuve un muerto en mis brazos

Un hombre a mi lado recibió un disparo y cayó contra mí y luego al suelo, con su sangre por todo mi hombro y brazo derecho. Corrí y me escondí con un grupo de personas de la mezquita en una propiedad vacía. Estábamos aterrorizados. Uno de los miembros del grupo recibió un disparo en el brazo. Esperamos escondidos detrás de la propiedad hasta que llegó la policía. Vi a una dama tirada en el suelo, con el rostro cubierto. Ella ya estaba muerta. Vi a un amigo mío tirado en el suelo. Un hombre somalí salió de la mezquita con su hijo muerto de tres años. Tomé a su hijo en sus brazos mientras se sentaba, y luego le devolví a su hijo. Nunca antes había tenido a una persona muerta en mis brazos. Tengo recuerdos e imágenes en mi cabeza de los muertos. Mis hijos lloran la vida de las personas que conocemos que han fallecido, pero también continúan llorando por los vivos y el efecto devastador que ha tenido en sus vidas. Sacrificaste toda tu vida por 14 minutos de fracaso, y por eso eres el mayor perdedor el 15 de marzo.

Estoy abrumado por el amor, la empatía, el afecto y la amabilidad de la gente de Nueva Zelanda. Había elegido venir a Nueva Zelanda para sentirme seguro, pero ahora me siento mucho más seguro. Fallaste. Fallaste. Ganamos

No hay palabras adecuadas para describir lo asustado que estaba en ese momento. Estos momentos fueron los más largos de mi vida. Me dispararon uno tras otro y esperé a que me golpearan en la cabeza o en el pecho, esperando morir. He tenido siete cirugías y otra el próximo mes. Todavía estoy nervioso por el ruido. Me entra mucho pánico cuando voy a una mezquita. No puedo borrar estos recuerdos de un solo día, de tanta sangre y tantos cadáveres a mi alrededor. El incidente nos cambió para siempre, pero para mí sobre todo los buenos modales. Mi fe es más fuerte que nunca. Practico todos los días para ser un mejor musulmán, un mejor ser humano. Estoy abrumado por el amor, la empatía, el afecto y la amabilidad de la gente de Nueva Zelanda. Había elegido venir a Nueva Zelanda para sentirme seguro, pero ahora me siento mucho más seguro. Fallaste. Fallaste. Ganamos. Su acción unió a los neozelandeses. No tengo ninguna queja contra ti. Todos mis sufrimientos son una prueba de Allah.

Este terrorista no pertenece a la sociedad. No es un humano sino un animal. Estoy orgulloso de mi religión y de esta ciudad, y estoy orgulloso de llamarme Kiwi afgano. Nueva Zelanda es mi hogar

Este terrorista no pertenece a la sociedad. No es un humano sino un animal. Estoy orgulloso de mi religión y de esta ciudad, y estoy orgulloso de llamarme Kiwi afgano. Nueva Zelanda es mi hogar. No lo voy a dejar por un monstruo ignorante como tú. ¿Recuerda el dolor que sintió que le provocó ansiedad y depresión crónica después de la muerte de su padre? Multiplique eso por 51. Pasará a la historia como el hombre que avergonzó a la familia Tarrant. Siempre serás conocido como un terrorista fallido que mató a hombres, mujeres y niños inocentes, pero no logró difundir tu ideología. En cambio, te has dado cuenta de lo contrario y le has mostrado al mundo cómo el Islam es una religión de paz. Una vez superada la condena, ya no volverán a hablar del virus del odio y el extremismo que ha traído a nuestro país. A diferencia del Covid-19, Nueva Zelanda ya ha encontrado la cura para el virus que ha traído a nuestro país. Este remedio fue el amor, la compasión y el Islam, la religión de la paz.

En nuestra fe, nuestra gente inocente está en el cielo. Como cobarde estarás en el infierno

Eres un cobarde. En nuestra fe, nuestra gente inocente está en el cielo. Como cobarde, estarás en el infierno. Tú [invoked] algo sobre la historia de su ataque terrorista. No creo que sepas nada de esta historia. Escribimos historia. Somos las personas que escribimos esta historia. Pero tu idea de la historia no fue nada. Leíste la historia equivocada. No has leído la historia correcta.

Después de la muerte de Omar, él se convirtió en padre y yo en abuela de una niña. Me temo que nunca veré a mi nieta porque su papá murió

No podía acostumbrarme a que mi hijo falleciera. Me sentí desesperado. Todavía es muy difícil para mí. Hice los arreglos para que su cuerpo fuera enterrado aquí en Bangladesh. Dejé de hablar durante toda una semana y no pude hacer mi tarea habitual ni comunicarme con nadie de mi familia porque estaba profundamente absorto en el dolor. Omar me proveyó, como era nuestra costumbre. Estoy muy preocupado por mi futuro. También me preocupa mi hija soltera. Perdí la esperanza en mi vida. Después de la muerte de Omar, él se convirtió en padre y yo en abuela de una niña. Me temo que no volveré a ver a mi nieta porque su padre murió. Extraño no saber quién es y cómo está creciendo. Mi hijo Omar nunca podrá contarme sobre su hijo y el progreso de su vida. Es muy difícil para mí aceptarlo.

Siempre recuerdo estar tan sorprendido de que el tirador estuviera tan tranquilo. Estaba mirando a su alrededor y luego estaba apuntando con su arma y disparando a la gente.

No resultó herido, pero vi gente disparada. Siempre recuerdo estar tan sorprendido de que el tirador estuviera tan tranquilo. Simplemente miraba a su alrededor, luego apuntaba con su arma y disparaba a la gente. Cuando salí, la primera persona que vi fue mi amigo. Que había muerto. Cuando llegué a casa supe de mi amigo y el hijo de mi amigo que fueron asesinados. Fue en este punto que la angustia y el dolor comenzaron a aparecer. También comencé a pensar, mi familia y yo estamos a salvo aquí? Pero después del rodaje, cuando vimos lo bien que la gente nos respetaba y trataba, nos hizo sentir bien con Nueva Zelanda. Cualquier pequeño disparador puede hacerme llorar. Solo una cosa simple: «¿cómo estás?» – puede hacerme llorar. Nadie te recordará con alegría con su corazón. El daño que infligiste fue como el daño que hace un toro salvaje a una tienda de porcelana. Las personas que nos cuidaron, las que te agarraron con valentía, las que operaron a los heridos, las que lloran con nosotros, estas son las personas que serán recordadas.

Un niño de tres años, lo miraste a los ojos y lo mataste. Un niño inocente. Su piel es demasiado suave para tus bolas

Te escondiste detrás de tus armas para matar mujeres y niños. Un niño de tres años, lo miraste a los ojos y lo mataste. Un niño inocente. Su piel es demasiado suave para tus bolas. Elegiste Nueva Zelanda, es un país pacífico donde la gente no tuvo esa experiencia antes, para aumentar tus posibilidades de salir con vida porque eres un cobarde, no porque quisieras que los musulmanes no se juntaran. no se sienta seguro en ninguna parte. Te aseguraste de elegir un país que te permita salir con vida. Has robado lo más preciado de Nueva Zelanda: la paz. Los neozelandeses, los kiwis y los maoríes nunca volverán a mostrar misericordia a personas como tú. Tenemos una gran confianza en nuestro sistema judicial neozelandés. Todo el país se ha opuesto a ti. La ignorancia es el mayor enemigo de todos nosotros.

Estaba corriendo y de repente el terrorista me disparó por la espalda. pensé que iba a morir

Estaba corriendo y de repente el terrorista me disparó por la espalda. Pensé que iba a morir. Fue un momento muy difícil. Estuve en cuidados intensivos y críticos durante aproximadamente un mes. Estuve en coma durante nueve días. Cinco días después, los médicos me dijeron que la mitad de mi cuerpo estaba paralizado y que nunca volvería a caminar. Pensé, «¿Por qué estás vivo?» Pasé seis meses en el hospital. Tuve que someterme a muchas operaciones antes de que parte de mi cuerpo pudiera volver a funcionar correctamente. Todo cambió. Ya no puedo hacer nada normalmente. Mi médula espinal está dañada y no hay tratamiento para solucionarlo. Estoy en silla de ruedas por el resto de mi vida. Sin embargo, estoy feliz de que este incidente haya ocurrido en la mezquita mientras estaba en las oraciones del viernes. No me impedirá alcanzar mis sueños ni me impedirá tener una buena vida.

Le ha mostrado a Nueva Zelanda lo importante que es el multiculturalismo, lo importante que es ser una sociedad diversa. No estamos rotos por tus acciones. Ahora estamos aún más integrados

Quiero que sepas que no has roto nuestra sociedad. Nos has hecho aún más visibles como comunidad musulmana. Nos has hecho aún más visibles a nivel mundial en el mapa. Le ha mostrado a Nueva Zelanda lo importante que es el multiculturalismo, lo importante que es ser una sociedad diversa. No estamos rotos por tus acciones. Ahora estamos aún más integrados como sociedad. No serás recordado. No eres nadie Te pudrirás solo en la cárcel. Lo siento por ti porque creciste en un ambiente donde no recibiste amor ni compasión. Tengo paz sabiendo que en el Más Allá obtendrás lo que mereces por la voluntad de Allah Todopoderoso

Recuerda nuestras voces porque las volverás a escuchar. No ante el juez respetuoso, sino ante Alá, el juez de todos los jueces.

No mereces paz ni perdón. Mataste a mi esposo, que era la persona más importante en mi vida, pero mi familia de nueve personas vive conmigo en Nueva Zelanda. Hiciste realidad los sueños de mi esposo cuando se convirtió en mártir al morir en la mezquita, pero no esperaba que sucediera en Nueva Zelanda. Mi esposo está ahora en el mejor lugar del mundo. Siempre fue su sueño ir a Arabia Saudita. Está en Arabia Saudita con nuestro profeta Mahoma. Los terroristas no tienen religión, ni color, ni humanidad, ni ética, como tú. Eres el terrorista. Recuerda nuestras voces porque las volverás a escuchar. No ante el juez respetuoso, sino ante Alá, el juez de todos los jueces.

La paz sea con Nueva Zelanda, los neozelandeses y todos menos usted. No mereces paz, misericordia o perdón

Perdí a mi cuñado y perdí a otros 50 hermanos. ¿Qué has perdido? Has perdido la libertad, la humanidad y el amor, así como a tu familia y amigos. Tengo a mi familia a mi alrededor ahora aquí en Nueva Zelanda. Tengo amigos. Tengo una comunidad y una sociedad más fuertes. Tengo buenas personas en todo el mundo. No tienes nada. La vida es demasiado corta y no hay justicia justa en esta tierra porque la justicia está más allá de nuestra experiencia como seres humanos. Alá es quien nos creó a todos y nos dio opciones. Elegiste ser detenido. Mi elección es ser libre. Soy libre. Por eso estoy aquí ahora. La paz sea con Nueva Zelanda, los neozelandeses y todos menos usted. No mereces paz, misericordia o perdón. Deberías llamarte desconocido.

No pude trabajar durante casi siete meses. Mi esposa y yo hemos tenido muchos cambios en nuestras vidas. Ambos luchamos

No pude trabajar durante casi siete meses. Mi esposa y yo hemos tenido muchos cambios en nuestras vidas. Ambos luchamos mentalmente. No puedo dormir bien. Estamos deprimidos y no podemos apreciar nada, lo cual es muy frustrante. Fuimos a mi pais [Bangladesh] para visitar a nuestra familia y también a Australia para visitar a familiares. Pensamos que todo estaría bien, pero no lo estamos. Mi esposa sufre de ansiedad y tiene miedo de quedarse sola en casa mientras yo salgo.

Mi padre era un imán musulmán venerado que predicó desde la mezquita más grande de Fiji durante más de 25 años. Murió en brazos de su esposa de casi 37 años

Mi padre era un imán musulmán venerado que predicó desde la mezquita más grande de Fiji durante más de 25 años. Murió en brazos de su esposa durante casi 37 años. Aunque murió no solo en el abrazo de su esposa, sino en el abrazo de Allah y la fe y la comunidad que tanto amaba, esto no puede aliviar lo suficiente el dolor y la conmoción de los que se quedan atrás tratando de darle sentido a esta tragedia y disfrazarla. Mi padre fue un hombre que dio ejemplo de fe, fuerza y ​​amor por su familia. Los nietos de mi padre nunca volverán a conocer el amor y la guía de este hombre fuerte y cariñoso. A una edad temprana, fueron introducidos a un mundo donde las personas que aman les son arrebatadas sin otra razón que porque siguen una fe diferente. El ataque que separó a mi padre de su familia va en contra de sus valores fundamentales de difundir el amor y la paz en el mundo a través de la religión y denunciar el extremismo. El perdón es un principio del Islam, pero no puedo perdonar a este agresor.

No solo mataste a 51 personas ese día, sino que también mataste emocionalmente a 51 familias. A veces no sé qué decirles a mis hijos sin llorar y tratar de ser fuerte al mismo tiempo

Syed me dejó a mí ya tres hijos, todos menores de cinco años. He sufrido un trauma grave desde el 15 de marzo de 2019 y tengo dificultades con mis tareas diarias. Tengo miedo constantemente. Me preocupo por el futuro de mis hijos y mi futuro. Tengo que criar a mis hijos por mi cuenta sin el apoyo y los medios económicos de mi esposo y el padre de mis hijos. Mi vida cambió en un segundo, solo por lo que hizo el terrorista. No solo mataste a 51 personas ese día, sino que también mataste emocionalmente a 51 familias. A veces no sé qué decirles a mis hijos sin llorar y tratar de ser fuerte al mismo tiempo. Mi hija sigue preguntando dónde está su padre. La vida de mis padres también ha cambiado, ya que ahora viven conmigo y me ayudan a criar a mis tres hijos y me brindan apoyo emocional y moral por lo que estoy agradecido.

Me acosté en el suelo, atrapado debajo de una pila de sillas, con las manos cubriéndome la cabeza, mientras los sonidos de los disparos aumentaban en intensidad.

Me escondí en una reserva junto a la sala de oración de mujeres con las otras mujeres. Me acosté en el suelo, encajado debajo de una pila de sillas, con las manos cubriéndome la cabeza, mientras los sonidos de disparos aumentaban en intensidad, como si él se acercara a la habitación. Repetidamente les dije a las mujeres que oraran en silencio porque temía que el tirador nos escuchara y nos encontrara en la reserva. Permanecí en esta posición hasta que entró la policía y nos dejó salir. Vi cadáveres en el camino fuera de la mezquita. Después del tiroteo, volví a vivir en Malasia. No me sentí seguro en Christchurch. El incidente erosionó mi confianza, lo que me hizo sospechar de los demás. Tengo pensamientos recurrentes sobre el evento, el trauma, el sentimiento de sospecha y la inseguridad. Este tiroteo masivo confundió mi mente. Nueva Zelanda siempre ha sido un lugar seguro, amigable y celestial para muchos, más allá de la raza, más allá del color, más allá de la religión. Nueva Zelanda es un país del que estoy orgulloso, un país que fomenta una cultura amorosa y respetuosa. Los kiwis siempre han sido buenas personas y estoy seguro de que siempre lo serán.

Es demasiado difícil para mí ahora debido a los disparos de ese día y a mi mejor amigo que fue asesinado a tiros frente a mí. Extraño mucho a mi amigo. Lloro todo el tiempo por el

En el momento del tiroteo, amigo [Matiullah Safi] oró en su lugar habitual junto a mí. Cuando vi que disparaban a Matiullah, fui a la puerta principal. Pude ver que había demasiados disparos en todas partes. Debo haber saltado sobre algunos ancianos cuando fui a esconderme afuera cerca del garaje. Había demasiada sangre en mi pierna. Estaba muy asustado. Me resulta muy difícil recordar el rodaje. No voy tanto a la mezquita ahora porque tengo demasiado miedo para ir. Es demasiado difícil para mí ahora debido a los disparos de ese día y a mi mejor amigo que fue asesinado a tiros frente a mí. Extraño mucho a mi amigo. Lloro por él todo el tiempo. Es muy dificil para mi No puedo moverme fácilmente. Me duele todo el cuerpo y los nervios están dañados. El médico dice que ya no puede ayudarme. Tengo que usar un bastón. Todavía tengo tal vez mil metralla por todo mi cuerpo que todavía estará allí. No se puede borrar. Fue tan traumático para mí. Ahora me siento desesperado y entro en pánico.

Solía ​​regalarme flores para mi cumpleaños, pero en cambio obtuve su cuerpo.

Durante más de 35 años, tuve el privilegio y el honor de ser la madre de Hussein antes de que me lo quitaran cruelmente. Tenía el raro don de hacer que todos se sintieran importantes, especiales, amados y apreciados. Hussein era un joven amable, humilde, cariñoso y trabajador. No tuvo ningún enemigo en el mundo hasta el día en que lo mataron. Lloro todos los días por él y por la pérdida de mi familia. La peor parte de esta tragedia fue cuando recibimos el cuerpo de Hussein, el 21 de marzo, que es mi cumpleaños. También es el Día de la Madre en el Medio Oriente, donde crecí. Esperaba desesperadamente ver el cuerpo de Hussein para darle el último abrazo y beso. Me sorprendió la espantosa escala de este asesinato. Es una imagen muy dolorosa que ha convertido mis próximos cumpleaños y el Día de la Madre en una pesadilla para siempre. Solía ​​regalarme flores por mi cumpleaños, pero en cambio obtuve su cuerpo. He decidido perdonarlo, Sr. Tarrant, porque no tengo odio. No tengo venganza. El daño ya estaba hecho. Hussein nunca estará allí. Solo tengo una opción: perdonarte.

No hay palabras que hagan justicia a lo que es almorzar con tu hermano un día y enterrarlo otro.

No hay palabras que hagan justicia a lo que es pasar de almorzar con tu hermano un día a enterrarlo otro. Hussein fue mi tutor. No solo era para mí, también estaba en la mezquita. El día de su asesinato, su tutela desinteresada finalmente significó que perdió la vida. Pero si eso significa dar nueva vida a los demás, eso es Hussein. Es un héroe que la sociedad merece tener. El día de su asesinato, no pudimos localizar a Hussein en la mezquita ni en su casa. Fui al hospital y estaba entrando en una zona de guerra. Nunca olvidaré la angustiosa escena de personas cubiertas de sangre y el sonido de niños llorando. Estas imágenes y sonidos permanecerán grabados en mi mente para siempre. Lamento la pérdida de las esperanzas y los objetivos de Hussein. Nunca podrá darse cuenta de su potencial para ayudar a las personas y marcar la diferencia en el mundo. Mi mejor amigo fue ejecutado en asesinato a sangre fría. Ahora que lo has matado, me volví a Dios y eso hizo que mi fe en el Islam fuera aún más fuerte.

Fue extremadamente doloroso sentirse tan impotente al ver a su alma gemela dar su último aliento. Ahora estoy preso de por vida con mi tristeza y soledad

Mi esposo les había gritado a todos que se bajaran. Vi a mi esposo apoyado contra la pared para salvarse. Entonces supe que todos íbamos a morir en segundos. Les envié un mensaje a mis hijos para decirles que alguien estaba disparando en la mezquita y que por favor ayudaran. Me acerqué a mi esposo para que pudiéramos morir juntos. Continuaron los disparos desde afuera de la puerta mientras esperaba a que mi esposo se uniera a mí. Para mi sorpresa, vi que de su boca y nariz salía sangre pesada y espesa. Me di cuenta de que le habían disparado. Puse a mi esposo encima de mí y grité: «Por favor, ayuda, ayuda, ayuda a alguien». Coloqué a mi esposo contra la pared mientras luchaba por respirar. Fue extremadamente doloroso sentirse tan impotente al ver a su alma gemela dar su último aliento. Ahora estoy en prisión de por vida con mi tristeza y soledad. Odio que me llamen viuda, lo cual no me merecía. El dolor, el sufrimiento y las pesadillas por las que he pasado son insoportables. Los que murieron el 15 de marzo en las dos mezquitas no fueron los únicos amenazados de muerte. Todos los miembros de su familia y cónyuges mueren todos los días. Nuestras almas murieron con mi esposo.

Hay un vacío emocional en mi familia y los extraño mucho a todos. Es muy difícil creer que todos se fueron

Mis padres y mi hermano han sido la fuente de todo apoyo emocional, felicidad y consuelo para mí. La muerte repentina de todos realmente me conmovió. Extraño a mi familia muchas veces. Los extrañé cuando nació mi cuarta hija. Unos meses después de este incidente, me operaron. Normalmente estarían ahí para apoyarme y ayudar con la familia. Su ausencia me resultó realmente difícil de manejar. Hay un vacío emocional en mi familia y los extraño mucho a todos. Es muy difícil de creer que todos fueron en un incidente a un lugar seguro y de oración en una mezquita. Como mató a 51 personas, puede ser condenado. Sin embargo, lo más importante sería darse cuenta de que el odio hacia el Islam es malo. El Islam es una religión pacífica.

Cuando vi por primera vez al pistolero, pensé que era un visitante de la mezquita. Luego lo vi comenzar a dispararle a la gente.

Cuando vi por primera vez al pistolero, pensé que era un visitante de la mezquita. Luego lo vi comenzar a dispararle a la gente. Le pedí a mi esposa que huyera para estar a salvo. La segunda vez que llamé, nunca respondió. Fui al hospital y no pude encontrarla allí. Estaba muy, muy preocupado de que mi esposa hubiera fallecido. No supe en el hospital hasta más tarde esa noche que ella estaba allí. No pudo hablarme durante unos 35 días. Los médicos me dijeron que ella no podría caminar de por vida y tendrá que tener más cirugías. No sé si Sazada y yo tendremos hijos ahora. Mi padre estaba molesto y preocupado por mi esposa y yo. Unos meses después murió de todo el estrés. Mi vida ha cambiado por completo. Estará en silla de ruedas toda su vida. Ella solo tiene 25 años.

Je regarde toujours par-dessus mon épaule parfois quand je suis seul alors que j’ai le sentiment que quelqu’un pourrait être là

Une fois le tournage terminé, j’ai ouvert les yeux et j’ai regardé autour de moi. J’ai vu des gens couchés par terre et beaucoup de sang. Il y avait des corps sur le sol et à l’extérieur. Je pensais que j’allais mourir dans la mosquée. Pendant longtemps, j’ai eu trop peur de sortir seule, surtout la nuit. Cela m’affecte encore parfois. Il m’a fallu une semaine pour rentrer dans la mosquée et même maintenant, je préfère aller à Deans Avenue pour prier car la mosquée de Linwood ramène trop de souvenirs de cette journée. Je me souviens des gens de la mosquée Linwood qui étaient si accueillants et qui ne sont plus là. Ça m’attriste. J’étais venu en Nouvelle-Zélande pour une vie plus paisible et plus sûre et je ne m’attendais pas à ce qu’une telle chose se produise ici. Je regarde toujours par-dessus mon épaule parfois quand je suis seul quand j’ai le sentiment que quelqu’un pourrait être là ou venir. Je préfère être en compagnie des autres. Je n’ai subi aucune blessure physique même si j’ai du mal à dormir à cause des flashbacks, rejouant l’attaque dans mon esprit.

Je déteste le mot victime. C’était un choix froid et calculé de nous voler notre tranquillité. Tu as transformé notre lieu de culte en un tombeau vivant

Pour me regarder de l’extérieur, je suis intacte et entière. Les rêves sont devenus des cauchemars où des images obsédantes envahissent mon sommeil. Mes journées sont ponctuées au hasard de déclencheurs qui m’abordent et me tiennent en rançon à la terreur de ce jour-là. J’ai échappé à des blessures physiques bien que mes blessures émotionnelles soient profondes, là où personne ne peut les voir. Je suis maintenant visible, c’est-à-dire qu’il y a un risque que je sois marqué toute ma vie, identifié comme victime. Je déteste le mot victime. C’était un choix froid et calculé de nous voler notre tranquillité. Vous avez transformé notre lieu de culte en un tombeau vivant.

J’ai encore des morceaux de balles en moi. Certaines pièces me tiennent à cœur. Certains morceaux sont dans mes poumons

Mes blessures ont nécessité quatre opérations dont une greffe osseuse, ce qui était très douloureux. Je ne dors pas bien à cause de la douleur et j’ai aussi de mauvais rêves effrayants. Ma femme et mes enfants ont peur. Nous avons des cauchemars et avons peur des bruits forts et des foules. Quand je vais à la mosquée, j’ai peur. Mon épaule ne sera plus jamais la même. Je ne sais pas si je pourrai à nouveau être chef. J’ai encore des morceaux de balles en moi. Certaines pièces me tiennent à cœur. Certains morceaux sont dans mes poumons. Je crains qu’un jour les morceaux près de mon cœur ne me donnent une crise cardiaque. Les médecins ne peuvent pas retirer les morceaux près de mon cœur ou de mes poumons car la chirurgie causera plus de dommages. Ils seront en moi, affectant ma vie, pour toujours. Vous êtes venu à ma mosquée par derrière, pas par l’avant. Tu es faible. Vous êtes venu avec des fusils. Vous n’êtes pas venu seul. Si vous avez le pouvoir, appelez n’importe qui et combattez avec eux, face à face. Vous avez terminé. Tu n’es rien.

Je vais prier pour que ma fille ne trouve jamais, jamais cette vidéo horrible et monstrueuse de la diffusion en direct du crime ce jour-là

Ata était un homme très aimant et respectueux, un homme d’affaires prospère, un gardien de but compétitif pour la [New Zealand] Futsal Whites, un homme qui aimait aider tout le monde, un père incroyablement aimant, un bon néo-zélandais, un homme trop beau pour être vrai. Notre fille vivra dans l’ombre de son père bien-aimé. Elle le connaîtra à travers ses yeux, comme elle a les siens, à travers notre amour et l’amour que chacun a pour lui. Son héritage vivra pour toujours. Nous devons apprendre à vivre avec la douleur indescriptible que sa perte a causée et la manière brutale dont il a été tué. Je prierai pour que ma fille ne trouve jamais, jamais cette vidéo horrible et monstrueuse de la retransmission en direct du crime ce jour-là. La tristesse, le vide, la douleur et l’incertitude que cette attaque terroriste a causés ne peuvent être exprimés en mots. La lutte quotidienne et les rappels constants de combien il nous manque dans notre vie. J’aurais aimé l’avoir à mes côtés pour vieillir ensemble, faire grandir notre famille et avoir plus d’enfants, comme nous l’avons toujours voulu.

Si vous en avez l’occasion, j’aimerais que vous disiez pardon à Sayyad. Je suis sûr qu’il t’a pardonné aussi

La lumière de ma vie a été projetée à l’arrière de la tête en m’agenouillant et en priant. Un acte de terreur impitoyable et délibéré. Vous, Brenton, le tueur de 51 hommes, femmes et petits enfants sans défense, auriez déjà été massacré si vous aviez fait cela dans un autre pays. Mais ici en Nouvelle-Zélande, la vie de chacun est précieuse, même la vôtre. Nos lois ne sont pas basées sur un œil pour œil mais sur la justice et l’équité. Même un meurtrier a une chance d’être pardonné. C’est ce que j’ai fait. Je vous ai pardonné, Brenton, même si vous avez assassiné mon fils Sayyad, âgé de 14 ans. Vous êtes un terroriste, un meurtrier, mais toujours un homme. The wounds inflicted on me went to the core of my being – my soul. Not a single bullet hit and shattered me. I wasn’t even there. But there is a huge hole in my heart which will only heal when I meet Sayyad again in heaven. I hope to see you there too, Brenton, and if you get the chance I would love you to say sorry to Sayyad. I’m sure he has forgiven you too.

Mum had been to hospital barefoot, with nothing but a bloodstained purse and her phone. For three full days and nights searching helplessly for my father

The day of the shocking mosque shooting was like living a nightmare, with everything coming to a stop, with life just revolving around the one phone call when I received the news and those messages from my mum saying they’re now about to die and love you all. Mum had been to hospital barefoot, with nothing but a bloodstained purse and her phone. For three full days and nights searching helplessly for my father, thinking he had been taken to hospital, she had not eaten a single bite of food and had been struggling to get help. I was able to finally see my father after days of looking for him at every hospital in Christchurch. Seeing him dead with a bullet wound piercing his spine through his stomach, his body cold as ice and with blood turned into flakes stuck on to his face, hands and body, this was the time I totally broke up and questioned everything in existence. Now we have to live our lives in fear, worry, depression and every morning wake up to emptiness and a feeling of loss which still remains active each and every passing day of our lives.

Your father was a garbage man and you became the trash of society … You deserve to be buried in a landfill

You hurt my father but you never took him away from me. You physically hurt him but you gifted my father with becoming a martyr and he has now returned to Allah – God. Your actions on that day displayed what a coward you are. You shot at defenceless people who were not aware of what was going on until they knew it was too late. There is nothing heroic about shooting people from behind and people not having a chance to defend themselves. I do not forgive you for what you have done. While you are in prison, you will come to a reality that you are now in hell and only the fire awaits you. Your father was a garbage man and you became the trash of society. He is ashamed of your identity. You deserve to be buried in a landfill. My 71-year-old dad would have broken you in half if you had challenged him to a fight. You are weak. A sheep with a wolf’s jacket on, for only 10 minutes of your whole life. I am strong. And you made me even stronger.

Some days I think how it must have been for him in his last moments. After all, he was in a place as pure as a mosque. I could only hope that his last moments were not hard for him

When I first got the news I was in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. We were heartbroken and clueless as we did not have any information on him. Once we even saw a picture in the news of someone on a stretcher wearing the same coloured jacket as the one Ozair had. Those moments were the most difficult ones in our lives. Perhaps it was fate that after exactly one year of leaving home for New Zealand, he finally arrived back. He arrived home to a martyr’s welcome. Losing Ozair changed our family. It left an indelible scar on our hearts that won’t fade away until we breathe our last. Some days I think how it must have been for him in his last moments. After all, he was in a place as pure as a mosque. I could only hope that his last moments were not hard for him. Every time I stand for Friday prayer, I think with a very heavy heart about the moment that man must have entered the mosque with the intention to kill. He forever changed the lives of 51 families that day. With that, he also tarnished the image of a country considered among the safest in the world.

You are dead, even though you can breathe

You are dead, even though you can breathe. If all humans have one characteristic in common it would be the ability to overcome and forget the past. Something we clearly can do, but something you clearly cannot do, for two reasons. The first reason is that you don’t have a future, so therefore you cannot live nowhere but the past, alone and lonely, as a rotten cloth that has been thrown away after it has been used for some dirty work. The second reason is that you are not actually a human, not even an animal, since animals are beneficial to the world. You are classified as someone who’s dumb enough not to realise that beyond the skin, all humans are the same. You will be remembered but as a scared killer and nothing more. And yes, without even your name. Just an insignificant killer who is lonely, scared and left behind to suffer for eternity.

After the first round of shooting by the terrorist my father got up, saying: “I’m not hurt. I can help the people hurt.” He did exactly that. He died helping others

My father was robbed of meeting his grandchild. After days of uncertainty and rushing around from place to place, desperate to find my baba, we were informed that his life was taken. He was not ill, nor old. He was not one to incite hate but rather was loved by many. He did not die from an accident, which one would come to terms with through time, but rather his life was taken away from us by a racist, fascist terrorist who gave himself the right to do so along with 50 other innocent souls. My father was a vibrant man, caring and loving to my mother and to us, the three girls. A well-respected and loved man. He was no different to any other New Zealander. The terrorist simply decided he was different because he was a Muslim man. My father’s actions that day reflect the kind of man he was. After the first round of shooting by the terrorist my father got up, saying: “I’m not hurt. I can help the people hurt.” He did exactly that. He died helping others, a true reflection of his noble character.

My wife said I was screaming out in the night. I am worried for my son’s soul. He has nightmares often now

The bullet travelled to my spinal cord and the shrapnel scattered throughout my lower back. I can remember every single moment of the shooting. My surgeon told me it will take a lot of time to be able to walk independently again but most likely I will continue to have spinal pain for the rest of my life. I feel guilty that I brought my [10-year-old] son to the mosque that day and I blame myself for him having experienced what happened. I am worried about how this will impact on him for the rest of his life and also his mental wellbeing. I am still experiencing flashbacks. I only went back to the Deans Avenue mosque once after the shooting but could not go back again because this led to bad dreams and my wife said I was screaming out in the night. I am worried for my son’s soul. He has nightmares often now and wasn’t able to sleep at night for about four months after the shooting. At first he held his emotions in. But the flashbacks of seeing me getting shot and others dying around me. It makes me cry thinking about it. He has lost his innocence and trust of living safely in New Zealand.

I remember my daughter coming home one day crying. She said while she was walking on Deans Avenue she was very scared as cars were driving past her and she didn’t know if someone would kill her

I went to the mosque for prayers. It must have been only five minutes and the devil arrived. Yes, I would call him a devil because you entered the house of God with evil intentions to kill innocent people. You have killed the dreams of my good friends and family. You pointed your gun at them and shot them with the intent to carry out your gutless action. I try not to talk about it as I do not want to give you the satisfaction that you want. There was a period when I was in denial and I thought I could get on with this and not remember March the 15th. J’avais tort. I was in shock for a long time. I cannot go back to work and we are starting to struggle with paying our bills. We were not able to go through with our plans to own a home. I remember my daughter coming home one day crying. She said while she was walking on Deans Avenue she was very scared as cars were driving past her and she didn’t know if someone would kill her. I can never forget what you have done – killing all those innocent people.

Likely you will also never again feel the love and warmth of your mother’s hug either. While I have pity for your mum, I have no emotion for you

You robbed me of my mother, of her love and strength. Likely you will also never again feel the love and warmth of your mother’s hug either. While I have pity for your mum, I have no emotion for you. You are nothing. While he will remain trapped in a cage, my mum is free. I therefore challenge Tarrant to use his remaining lifetime to consider the beauty and life to be found in diversity and freedom that he sought to distort and destroy.

Slowly and surely we are reassembling each crack with a thread of gold. Becoming whole again, beginning again, stronger and more beautiful and united than ever before. The gold is the love, the aroha, the New Zealand community

He never left. He could have left but he stayed behind to help his brothers, putting others before himself. Let it be known these tears are not for you. I relive that sense of shock from the days following the attack often, and sometimes it feels like they will traumatise me forever. The constant checking at the hospital whether or not my father was on the list of the confirmed deceased. The blaring noises of all the commotion from all those around me scrambling to find their loved ones. The sighting of my father’s body and physically seeing some of the impact of the attack on him. I’d never really truly known what the meaning of a broken heart was until then. We have been shaken to our core and our hearts cracked in a million pockets and places, but slowly and surely we are reassembling each crack with a thread of gold. Becoming whole again, beginning again, stronger and more beautiful and united than ever before. The gold is the love, the aroha, the New Zealand community, the friends and the neighbours, the flower wall, the government.

I have been Muslim for about nine years. It was the best decision I have ever made … I am white, Muslim and proud

I was in the mosque on March the 15th when you decided to come in and destroy many lives including your own. I have been Muslim for about nine years. It was the best decision I have ever made. After you left mosque Al Noor I was surrounded by the injured, the dying and the dead. I held a three-year-old boy in my arms, praying that he was still alive. He was not. You took him away. He was three. I checked many people to find that they were already dead. I found some gravely injured. I helped stop their bleeding. People were dying all around me because the ambulances were not allowed through quickly enough. I stayed with one person, blocking his wound and holding his hand. That person survived. You killed in my name. I am white, Muslim and proud. All you have done is cause great shame for Europeans all around the world. Since the attack I don’t sleep well and don’t trust people. You have changed my life forever and I will never forgive you. You will be judged. You will be judged.

I lay still and didn’t move a muscle … He shot at me, missing my head by one inch

I laid down on my tummy and pretended to be dead. I lay still and didn’t move a muscle. The shooter came back again after seven minutes and started shooting people beside me point blank. There were some dead, some injured. I didn’t move or make any noise. Three or four metres from me, he shot at me, missing my head by one inch. It went into my shoulder. I continued to play dead even though I had been injured. The shooter seemed to think I was dead and left me alone. I have about 80% worth of movement to my shoulder. There is nothing more the surgeons can do. This attacker has changed my life for the worse. For months I struggled to sleep. From 51 people who passed away, I knew 45 of them personally. Now I have mixed feelings and emotions between sadness and joy. Sadness that it happened and I lost my friends, and joy for my survival. If I had run through the window it might be a different story. I might not be here today.

You have killed my son and to me it is like you have killed the whole of New Zealand

You have killed my son and to me it is like you have killed the whole of New Zealand. I will never forget how he played in the mosque and made friends with all who attended. The horrendous crime this evil man committed has shattered our lives. However we still love and feel we belong in this country. Your atrocity and hatred did not turn out the way you expected. Instead it has united our Christchurch community, strengthened our faith, raised the honour of our families and brought our peaceful nation together. Know that true justice is waiting for you in the next life, and that will be far more severe. I will never forgive you for what you have done.

The outcome and beauty of the tragedy was an increase in awareness of Islam

I want you to bring his face in your mind and have that stay there until the end of your life. Mohamad Moosid was very adventurous. He came to New Zealand to enjoy the serene place with plenty of outdoors and indoors activities. Mohamad Moosid was a peaceful, generous, selfless, humble and beautiful human being, full of life. We as a family were bleeding, so was the world. This tragedy has brought the world together and marked history. There was no ethnicity, race or creed. We stood as one family. The proof was in the outpouring of support, compassion, kindness, messages of solidarity from the universe including prayers and vigils. The outcome and beauty of the tragedy was an increase in awareness of Islam and people are willing to learn more. Seeing the impressive human tide converging from north to south, east to west, to pay their respects and tributes to Mohamad Moosid and the shahids was unprecedented. This was what made our family stronger, knowing we are not alone. We have the whole world behind us. Son of the devil, I wish you rot in hell in between the four walls of your cell for eternity.

You executed him in cold blood. You took away from me the person who always had my back

I needed time to process what happened. It did not make sense to me at first. I thought, who would be able to do such things? Only a monster, a murderer, a coward, an ignorant, violent bigot, an insecure person full of hate. Then there was you, the loser. When you started shooting right, left and centre, my uncle was on the phone to 111 trying to get help just like I know he would in any situation. Then you executed him in cold blood. You took away from me the person who always had my back. Today is about setting the record right. No more court hearings at short notice due to your frequent mood swings. If you thought you were torturing us mentally by doing this, guess what: we are all strong here and none of your tricks worked. My uncle did not deserve an ounce of what you did to him, nor did the other 50 shahid and 40 worshippers shot and injured.

I saw the defendant standing in the door wearing clothing similar to police clothing. We had eye contact as he came into the mosque

I saw the defendant standing in the door wearing clothing similar to police clothing. We had eye contact as he came into the mosque. One of the ladies in the women’s area – a friend, Linda Armstrong – got up and ran towards the toilets. The defendant shot her as she was moving. I was screaming and very scared. I tried to help my friend, to pull her back. As I touched her the defendant shot at her again and me. I remember seeing the horror of the defendant spray his bullets at the men sitting on the seats at the rear of the prayer room. Ibrahim and Mostafa came to me. We rushed to an office area thinking the defendant would come back into the mosque. We all hid there. The shot had fortunately gone right through my arm. I have difficulty sleeping and often have nightmares. Sudden sounds affect me. I don’t feel as safe as I used to. As Ibrahim and I are elders within our community we have needed to put on and maintain a brave face. This I did, but the defendant’s actions have changed me. I still go to the mosques for formal requirements if necessary but not to Linwood. My memories of what happened that day are too shocking for me to return.

I remember the people I saw die, people running and people not being able to get out. I remember seeing all the blood

When the shooting started I remember I tried to get through a doorway into another room. It was then that I felt something like a shudder in my leg. I reached down. I felt the blood and the hole and I knew I had been shot. I fell down. I saw people falling and being shot. I heard people calling for help. Sometime while waiting for help, I called my wife and said I wasn’t sure if I would make it as I thought I might die. I had four surgeries including a bone graft. I ended up spending three and a half months recovering in hospital. I still need help to shower, toilet and dress myself. I am very worried as to whether I will be able to return to my job as a welder. The doctors have not been able to tell me whether I will have permanent disability or not. This worries me greatly, as this was my job and my way of supporting my family here in New Zealand and also my parents in Bangladesh. I am still not sleeping very well. This is partly to do with the pain but also the fact that I cannot forget what happened and what I saw. I remember the people I saw die, people running and people not being able to get out. I remember seeing all the blood.

I saw people falling down at the sound of what I know now to be gunfire. We were trapped inside the mosque with the defendant standing at the entrance

When I started the first part of the prayer, I heard a big sound. I did not know what was happening. I remember the horror of seeing the defendant in the second part of the prayer standing in the entrance to the mosque. I saw people falling down at the sound of what I know now to be gunfire. We were trapped inside the mosque with the defendant standing at the entrance. The defendant stopped firing and I saw the people who had been shot. Some were injured and some were dead. I was in shock and thought it was a dark dream. I couldn’t believe what had just happened. I had lost many friends in those few minutes. The actions of the defendant have affected not only our community but all of New Zealand society. I feel the actions of the defendant are a terrorist act and a racist act. The defendant’s actions have changed me, my family and my community. I have not felt able to return to the Linwood mosque.

I will live my life doing great things for our people, our community. There have been many more blessings from your crime

You are a person who needs help and guidance. You chose to perform a despicable and cowardly act. My son now leaves this temporary world as a martyr. That’s a blessing that connects me more to God and helps me through my life as I am missing my son. I, too, was present in the mosque when so many lives left this temporary world by your hands. My survival comes as a great blessing. When I reflect on that day, I decided that I will live my life doing great things for our people, our community. There have been many more blessings from your crime, one of them being that 200 of our Muslim community went to the hajj. The whole country of New Zealand and others around the world have supported and cared for us, as we are one. You are already dead to me. Whatever punishment you are going to receive in this world will never be enough. I will remember 26 March 2020 [the day the defendant pleaded guilty] as the day God gave me mercy that I did not have to stand as a witness to your crimes. This day was one of the happiest days of my life. I literally felt the burden of my anxiety and uncertainty about being a witness lift from my shoulders.

The names of the deceased victims were read out by the imam. I was holding in my fear because I could hear other families around me crying

I remember clearly when the incident happened. I didn’t know exactly where Tariq was, though I knew he was at the mosque before the shooting happened. My wife and I were desperate to locate Tariq. I was desperately hoping that he was alive. The names of the deceased victims were read out by the imam. I was holding in my fear because I could hear other families around me crying as they heard their loved ones’ names being read out, one by one. Then I heard Tariq’s name called out. I couldn’t hold my emotions together, to be strong for my family, because I was hurting so much inside to hear that I had lost my baby, Tariq. The tragic sudden loss and death of my son Tariq has taken a huge toll on me. My days just became a huge burden to get through. I have lost my energy for life and couldn’t see any future for a long time. It is still so very difficult for me. Even the simplest activities are hard for me to do. I will never ever forget him. He will live on in all the good memories and happy times we share as a family. This cannot ever be taken away. I will never be able to forgive you.

The loss and grief is so debilitating. I have to watch my family struggle to find purpose and meaning for each day

I feel there is a permanent shadow cast over everything in our family now, including family celebrations, with the loss and grief at the same time. The loss and grief is so debilitating. I have to watch my family struggle to find purpose and meaning for each day. Each morning I lack the motivation, as I see they do, and see them struggle to go to school and get to work. I see this in them and it is incredibly sad for me not to be able to fix this. It’s like I am broken and I see my family is broken. I worry and wonder if my family will ever be safe from future racist extremist attacks like this one. I have to endure this worry in my lifetime now. I don’t know if I will ever be able to feel like I used to before the attack at the mosque. My life can never be the same. I was picking up my son at the mosque when the shooter shot him dead. Whatever gave the offender the right to take Tariq’s life away from me forever? This monster had no right to take my son from me. I have a life sentence now and will forever feel my loss.

Our life changed drastically, just in the blink of an eye

We still can’t believe that this has happened to him. To us, it is a big loss. We are still in shock and always think about him and all the scenes of the mosque. We still have nightmares. This murder attack still makes us feel goosebumps and is still on our minds. The attack is a turning point in our life. Our life changed drastically, just in the blink of an eye.

Since my husband and son passed away I have never had a proper normal sleep. I don’t think I ever will

Naeem was the bravest person on earth, who fearlessly attempted to fight the coward – who was armed only with weapons. Naeem died trying to save others and his act of bravery is something his remaining sons will always feel honoured by. Naeem gave his life for the goodness of people and his love for Allah. I had to tell him [my five-year-old son] that his father and Talha were very brave but that they were not coming home. I told him that they were in a better place because they had been so good and so brave. Il [Naeem] worked hard to be part of a civilised society that is developed by like-minded people. He never discriminated against any race or religion so it is hard to understand why the terrorist chose any reason to kill him and so many other people. I have to get counselling sessions. I think nothing is ever going to work. It is a lifetime of struggle. I am scared to go for a walk because his [the defendant’s] evil actions might have inspired others to take the same actions. I cannot go freely for a walk in this free society. This is affecting my health as well as my children’s health. Since my husband and son passed away I have never had a proper normal sleep. I don’t think I ever will.

The first thing we did after reaching my brother’s place was to go near the mosque. My heart trembled with every step

When I read the email that made us aware that my brother was missing in the Christchurch terror attack, I felt that the world had stopped. The video posted on Facebook made me afraid. I started becoming nervous and wanted to hide. The distance travelled [from Mauritius] seemed to be an eternity. On reaching Christchurch, tiredness invaded. Wondering, fearing and lots of emotions trot in my mind. The first thing we did after reaching my brother’s place was to go near the mosque. My heart trembled with every step. The next day, two people came and announced that my brother got shot. We were brought to the funeral home where I could see my brother lying on the mortuary bed with bullet injuries on his body. I asked myself what he had done to this guy – taking my brother’s life. My brother was a peaceful man. I still live with fear and sadness. Every day in my prayers, every moment in my life, I can see a smile on his face from the last time I met him in Mauritius.

We now maintain my brother’s business without him and continue to honour him through remembering his faithfulness, passion for cricket and his pride in his large beard

My twin brother’s life was taken away for reasons fully known only to you. While my pregnant wife and I were parking, the shooting was coming into reality. We were relieved the gunfire did not come towards us. What took place was unjust, unfair and there was no right for anyone to interfere in our peaceful prayer time. My brother’s three children now yearn for their father and continue life without their daddy who is no longer by their side. My brother is now not able to see his children grow and enjoy their development into adulthood. We as a family will ensure his legacy is carried on through his children, who will become confident, proud Kiwis that live in the same place as their daddy lived. We continuously plan how we will create a prosperous future that is now impacted by something so violent. We now maintain my brother’s business without him and continue to honour him through remembering his faithfulness, passion for cricket and his pride in his large beard. Our family is standing strong, residing in our home city, Christchurch, and living in our great country, New Zealand.

Since the events of 15th March 2019 I have been able to openly share about my faith as I have noticed more tolerance and acceptance of others within the New Zealand community

I have had days where I get intrusive thoughts which can include flashbacks about what happened to my family, memories of my beautiful brother Junaid and visions of what his future would have been like, especially with his wife and children. I often think about my brother’s family, who move on without the love, protection and care that he should have been entitled to offer both as a husband and a father. I think about how Junaid’s legacy lives on in his three beautiful children as they continue to grow and thrive. I believe our family will bring them up to be strong New Zealand-born Muslim children. They will be proud of who they are and live a life without fear. Since the events of 15th March 2019 I have been able to openly share about my faith as I have noticed more tolerance and acceptance of others within the New Zealand community. I am stronger internally as a result of what happened.

This was the most difficult trip I have ever had in my life. This event has changed my life completely

An email said maybe my uncle had been shot during the Christchurch mosque attack and he was reported as a missing person. My dad and auntie decided to come to Christchurch [from Mauritius] to look for my uncle. I decided to fly [with them]. I was devastated. This was the most difficult trip I have ever had in my life. This event has changed my life completely. I became very scared of weapons and while praying in the mosques I became very alert on hearing any abnormal noise.

I want you to understand my utter rage upon learning that this man was a guest to New Zealand. This man is not one of us but that didn’t stop him from slaughtering us

I want you [the judge] to know how I felt before I learnt that my auntie had been shot in the chest and left to bleed out on the floor as her life slipped away, so you fully understand the pain I felt when I was just another regular Kiwi and not a victim of this malicious attack. I want you to understand the utter gut-wrenching horror I felt upon learning that this grotesque attack had happened on New Zealand soil. The dread I felt in my gut as I drove by the train station to see roads blocked off by police armed to the hilt with military-style automatic weapons, on high alert. I want you to understand my utter rage upon learning that this man was a guest to New Zealand. This man is not one of us but that didn’t stop him from slaughtering us. He entered into our home with ill intentions and hate in his heart, only to repay our hospitality by murdering our family and our guests, people who we welcomed into this country with the promise of a better life. He stole that safety and security from them just as he stole our nation’s innocence. Filled with his own racist agenda, this coward hid behind his big powerful guns and shot little old Linda from afar. She never even stood a chance.

Because I was from Afghanistan people were calling me, as fun or a joke or intentionally, a terrorist. But you took that name from me. Today you are called a terrorist and you proved to the world that I was not

I did not see any remorse, any regret, any shame in the eyes of this terrorist. He does not regret anything. I decided not to read him my impact statement that showed him how much I suffered. Instead, I will show him: thank you very much. In this whole time – 17 years – since I was living in New Zealand, because I was from Afghanistan people were calling me, as fun or a joke or intentionally, a terrorist. But you took that name from me. Today you are called a terrorist and you proved to the world that I was not – and us, as Muslims – were not terrorists. I will not leave this country. This is my country and this is my home. You are the loser and we are the winners. You proved to the world that you are a terrorist.

I felt very bad when I was outside and I could hear the shooting still going inside the mosque. I had a sore back afterwards from trying to lift people

I was inside the main prayer room in the front few rows. When I heard the shooting start, I saw people I know being shot. I tried to help people but I had to run. I felt very bad when I was outside and I could hear the shooting still going inside the mosque. I had a sore back afterwards from trying to lift people to help them. I have not returned to full-time work because I am struggling with everyday life. My behaviour has changed because I lost some of my friends. Sometimes I feel that I’m going to be hurt. I have felt disappointment for not being able to help more people. What happened was so unexpected and I still feel shocked by what I saw. Every time anyone talks to me about the shooting I become upset and angry. I find myself unable to control or contain my feelings. Today I still feel all those feelings if I think about everything that happened. I am always sad. I’m depressed. I’m frustrated that someone has taken away my happiness. We are not broken. We have become more united.

Farhaj was an honest, sincere, noble son, charismatic brother, a caring husband, a devoted and loving father. A true friend and a perfect gentleman

Farhaj left behind a young wife and two kids. The sudden and tragic demise of my beloved son Farhaj devastated my family of six members, dealt a severe blow to our financial position and pushed the entire family to the brink of starvation. My eldest son, incapacitated due to chronic ailment, is unable to earn a livelihood. His family of four members is also dependent on me for survival. As my pension was not sufficient to cater to the basic needs and medical care of the family, Farhaj had been extending moral and financial support to the family. The gruesome murder of my beloved son and the subsequent denial of financial relief had a catastrophic effect on financial, social and humanitarian aspects of my family and forced us to live a pathetic and miserable life. Farhaj was an honest, sincere, noble son, charismatic brother, a caring husband, a devoted and loving father. A true friend and a perfect gentleman. The enormity of the lasting emotional damage suffered by my family was such that we did not dare to walk out of our house to meet friends and relatives and attend social gatherings and functions, except for medical attention.

Organisations have seen an emboldening of white supremacist activity online and on social media. There is a consistent stream of hate mail and death threats

March 15 was undoubtedly an attack on Muslims, their beliefs, their many cultures, their ways of life and their presence in New Zealand. Faith-based communities still have an underlying fear in gathering to worship and being part of their communities. Since March 15th, the majority of coverage portrays the predominance of positive conversations about racism in New Zealand. However, organisations have seen an emboldening of white supremacist activity online and on social media. There is a consistent stream of hate mail and death threats directed to Muslim organisations. March 15 burgeoned sympathy and compassion from New Zealand society towards its minority communities. The response showed these organisations and their communities that there is hope for a New Zealand devoid of racism and hate. This is best summed up in the statement of the Islamic Women’s Council of New Zealand, who said: “He intended to terrorise our community and New Zealand as a whole. That he was not successful is testament to the beautiful nature of millions of New Zealanders. He did not know us or our country.”

Burying one dead friend is heartbreaking. How about burying a one-of-a-kind that is my son Ata and 49 beloved brothers and sisters in one go

I do not have any memory of how I moved from my spot opposite the pulpit to where I ended up. But I have full memories after I fell to the ground, bleeding profusely from my back, shoulder and the back of my head as I was shot with two bullets. I was in a state of deep worry about my beloved son, praying to Allah that Ata was delayed coming to the mosque. My beloved injured brother next to me was crying in pain as a dead brother’s body was pressing on his severely injured thigh. I tried to stand up to help him but had no energy to even move so we reached to each other and touched hands and started praying to Allah. For three days we did not have any news on Ata. I was taken to the funeral house in a wheelchair to give the farewell salam greeting to my beloved Ata. He was sitting in his casket as beautiful as an angel with a beautiful smile on his face. Burying one dead friend is heartbreaking. How about burying a one-of-a-kind that is my son Ata and 49 beloved brothers and sisters in one go. No words can describe what my heart experienced at that time and is still experiencing.

You terrorised the whole of New Zealand and saddened the whole world. You killed your own humanity. You thought you could break us. You failed miserably

His name means a gift from Allah and he was the best gift for 33 years until he was taken from us viciously and cruelly together with 50 other beloved members of the Muslim community. My family and I have been devastated by the inhumane murder of my precious son. I constantly try to imagine how my beloved Ata felt at the moment of the attack, how he faced the shooter with his chest, armed only with his courage to protect others, what was in his mind when he realised he was departing this life. My heart rips millions of times. Losing my beloved son is like feeling the pain of labour in my womb again and again. It is like losing a big part of me forever. He was highly intelligent, extremely capable, hardworking, resilient, passionate, confident, successful, devoted, loyal, generous, humble, affectionate, kind, ready to help others, a wonderful young man with a contagious smile and most of all a caring son. You terrorised the whole of New Zealand and saddened the whole world. You killed your own humanity. You thought you could break us. You failed miserably.

Not all of the testimonies were available to the media, but we have included as many as possible. Testimonies have been edited.