By Ryan Bridge, host of Magic Drive.
You would expect anger. Hate. Revenge.
Instead I witnessed peace, calm, forgiveness.
Sorrow, sure, but not hate.
On Sunday afternoon, less than 48 hours after his wife was gunned down by a white supremacist terrorist, I spoke to Farid Ahmed near the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch.
I asked if he had a message for Islamophobes, racists and those who have hate in their heart.
This was his response:
We are one family; our original parents are Adam and Eve. We all have hearts, the same colour of blood and we should not be afraid of one another… now is the time we should come to understand each other.
The Muslim men I spoke to in Christchurch told me they hope the shooter can forgive himself and find peace before he meets his maker.
Where was the hate? When somebody is murdered in this country there is a collective outpouring of rage and calls for a public hanging.
I had a talkback caller yesterday, Lilly was her name.
Lilly thinks that it was only a matter of time before something like Friday’s terror attack happened.
"When you bring these different cultures into the country, you're bringing what comes with them.... with Muslims comes bombings and terrorism; it's attractive to them."
Setting aside the fact this was an act of terror perpetrated by a white dude AGAINST Muslims, Lilly’s views highlight what, for me, is the most important thing to reveal itself in Christchurch.
Islam is a religion of peace.
Its reputation in the eyes of many people in this country has been hijacked and tainted by extremists who’ve committed atrocities since 9/11.
Christchurch has learned that Islam is a beautiful religion.
The Muslim’s I have met are caring, kind, compassionate, good people.
They forgive and love and support one another.
That is why there are no angry Muslims in Christchurch right now.
We could all learn a lot from them.
Ryan Bridge hosts Magic Drive 3-6pm weekdays.