I want to introduce you to New Zealander Muslim Abdullah Rabbani. Ömer Vehbi Hatipoğlu said when describing his personality, “There is somebody like that in Turkey”, I wanted to meet him immediately.
When he was taking a Classical Christianity class in 1994, faced with the questions “Where did we come from and where are we going” he decided to research all religions. When he realized the references made to the “Prophet of the end of the world” in four-thousand-year-old Sanskrit Hindu scriptures, in the ancient scriptures of Zoroastrianism, he decided to compare the uncorrupted parts of the Bible with Qur’an then he discovered the similarities and received the message that Islam was sent to every tribe and group of people hitherto lived through Prophets all around the world, he became a Muslim.
Of course, I am not talking about such superficial research. He speaks Arabic, and Turkish fluently, in addition to his native English as well as the ancient languages which he used in his research. This means that he made this research on his own, in the languages he’s fluent in.
Abdullah Rabbani says that “When I became a Muslim, we were only 200 people in New Zealand.” He also says, “On Friday nights, I used to travel 600 km to attend Friday prayers and go back home the day after.”
He also talked about how the Masjid Al Noor, which was targeted by the terrorist who viciously massacred 50 members of the congregation last Friday, was constructed in the spirit of cooperation. This is not a method we are unfamiliar with. He says this masjid was built through their own means, thanks to the donations came from a number of Muslim countries (he mentions Malaysia).
Later, the New Zealand government decided to accept immigrants from other countries: Somalia, Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan…
We can grasp the scale of diversity if we recall that those who were martyred by the vicious massacre on Friday were coming from 14 different ethnic origins.
Thanks to these immigrants the number of Muslims reached fifty thousand. This means they are only 1% of the total population.
If we think that the terrorist hails from Australia, and if we recall the graceful attitude of the Prime Minister of New Zealand, we can say that the recent widespread atmosphere which views Muslims as a target is not as tense as it is in Europe.
On the other hand, we can also try to understand within this framework why New Zealand was chosen for such a massacre. This is a country which is known as the most peaceful in the world, a country which is seen as a safe haven for anyone who wants to flee from a country and one which only makes the headlines of Turkish media on the eve of Dec. 31st as the first country to celebrate the New Year.
I disagree with those claiming that carrying out such a massacre in the “safest place on earth” has no significant meaning.
It was revealed that the perpetrator of the attack, the terrorist named Brenton Tarrant, has been preparing for this attack for years, not only physically, but also ideologically.
While he was streaming this massacre live on social media, he also released a 74-page manifesto.
Pulling the trigger while singing a song composed for Radovan Karadzic, the leader of the Bosnian genocide, the references on his gun to the year 732, the year when the Omayyads were defeated in southwestern France, to the last unsuccessful siege of Vienna by the Ottomans, writing the name of the Serbian soldier who martyred Ottoman Sultan Murad I and finally summoning the issue all the way from past to tie it with present-day Turkey and President Tayyip Erdoğan…
What is reflected in his manifesto is the desire to mobilize “ordinary Christians”, not those who have criminal records for murder or massacres, and it is actually expressing the intention to mobilize the anti-Muslim sentiment which has recently spread a like virus.
Obviously, the “hate climate” he witnessed in the countries he visited gave him extra motivation for this massacre. That is why, Turkey doesn’t have the luxury of ignoring this massacre in New Zealand, a country which can only be reached after a 20 hours-long flight, as a murder committed in a far remote country.
There is a call here.
This is a call to mobilize the anti-Islamic sentiments that have been growing in Europe, the U.S., in distant geographies and even among ourselves.
This is a message to Muslims living all around the world saying, “You won’t find peace even in the most peaceful countries”.
This is a quest to revive the spirit of the Crusades through new methods.