18 March 2019, Apia Samoa. Opinion by Edwin Tamasese.
Re: NZ Cabinet to Discuss Gun Laws
The attack in New Zealand for me personally has been quite traumatic as it has for many. One of the things that hit me as I struggled to handle the personal grief I felt for those suffering from this attack are the comments from members of my community of heritage and other circles celebrating this horrific crime against innocent men, women and children based on ignorant views of the geo politics surrounding migration and refugees.
Gun laws have immediately come to the forefront of the conversation. Yes gun laws are important as a remedial action, but the media, school curriculums and community groups need to start telling the truth behind the exodus of people from these regions.
We need a conversation on addressing religious based racism and bringing education to the masses that have no understanding of the realities behind migration and refugees or extremism for that matter.
These people are the victims of politically motivated aggression from the West that very sadly, New Zealand played an active role in.
This action led to the destruction of some of the most beautiful and historic regions of the world.
Telling the truth behind the migration and getting it out there will defeat the arguments of the far right extremists and quell the rhetoric that fans the flames motivating this horrific behaviour.
Countries like Syria and Libya for example are, or were, highly developed, stable societies. Free education, healthcare and low cost housing, cheap fuel. Why would people leave everything behind to migrate to countries that are worse off from where they are coming from?
ISIS funded by Saudi Arabia and supplied with armaments from the US is a part of the issue here. The unjustified attack against Iraq and Libya that has led to hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths and led to hundreds of thousands of refugees is also in this mix.
People blanket link movements like ISIS to all Muslims. It is like we are blinded by deeply rooted prejudices causing us to be blind to the fact that these are extremists. It would be like comparing all Christians to the Ku Klux Clan.
Who are most impacted by the violence and extremism of ISIS and other extremist groups? Muslims. Who are the majority on the front lines battling these extremists? Muslims. Who are dying in the thousands to defend civilized common people? Muslims. We should be celebrating them as heroes for their sacrifice.
These people are victims of forces beyond their control as mentioned above and it is our responsibility as fellow humans to afford them assistance and protection.
I have been absolutely appalled by the lack of knowledge of the geo politics that are the foundation of this issue and until we address the root cause of this with truth and honesty we will continue to see these horrific actions taking place.