Sunday 20 October 2019

New Zealand’s top Muslim police officer gives emotional speech after attacks

Superintendent Naila Hassan fought back tears before telling a crowd: ‘I am a proud Muslim and I am a leader in the NZ Police.’

By Stephen Jones, Press Association

New Zealand’s most senior Muslim police officer broke down in tears as she addressed a vigil for the Christchurch terror attack victims.

Forty-nine people were killed in the attacks on two mosques in the city by a white supremacist.

A clearly emotional Superintendent Naila Hassan told thousands of people at the vigil in Auckland: “I am a proud Muslim and I am a leader in the NZ Police and I am horrified at the events in Christchurch.”

“I know this is a very, very distressing time for our Muslim community in particular, but to everyone in our communities,” she said.

“We want to reassure everyone we are doing everything we can to ensure the victims of this devastating attack are treated with the utmost respect.

“I want our Muslim community in particular to know, and the people of Christchurch to know, that we stand with you and we all share in your grief and in your pain.

“We, the New Zealand Police, will do everything we can to support our wider community and in particular our Muslim communities,” she said.

She concluded by saying “inshallah”, an Arabic phrase meaning “God willing”.

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