Connect with us

‘Can’t show hate’: Families face mental toll of Christchurch shootings



As Tipene Newbery laid a wreath outside Al Noor Mosque — where dozens of worshippers were massacred by a white supremacist last Friday — his children called out, “Don’t cry daddy!”

Families in the southern New Zealand city have struggled to come to terms with the mental toll of the attacks at two mosques that left 50 people dead Friday, including children, just years after a devastating earthquake killed 185 residents.

At memorial sites across Christchurch, children’s heartfelt notes and drawings of young Muslims holding hands or hugging non-Muslims have been particularly poignant.

One drawing of children from different backgrounds holding hands had the words: “You are my friends. I will keep watch while you pray.”

AFP / DAVID MOIR At memorial sites across Christchurch, children’s heartfelt notes and drawings have been particularly poignant

Newbery, who was a teenager when the 2011 earthquake struck, admits he was “messed up” by the destruction it caused, and wants to create a more positive environment for his four young children following the shootings.

“This is way worse than the earthquake as far as I’m concerned. Natural disasters are inevitable but this can be prevented,” the 26-year-old told AFP at a memorial site outside Al Noor.


“Even though there’s a lot of hate inside me, I can’t show that in front of them (his children). Just show that peace and love is the only way.”

The impact of the shootings stretches from those directly affected, such as children who lost their parents in the attacks, to New Zealanders shocked at how such a violent act could be carried out in their usually peaceful country.

Saleha Hussain travelled from Auckland to support her friend’s young daughters aged two and five after their father Suhail Shahid was killed in Al Noor.

Having comforted the older daughter when she woke up in the middle of the night screaming for her father, Hussain told AFP her message to children was for them to not have “fear in their hearts” as they would be protected by God.


– ‘World that isn’t torn apart’ –

Clinical psychologist Sarb Johal, a New Zealand expert in mental health for those coping with disasters, said it was important for parents to monitor what their children were exposed to when they were outside home, in case they were being fed misinformation.

AFP/File / Anthony WALLACE Parents say managing their children’s curiosity has been a big challenge

Giving them a sense of hope, to contrast against the shootings, was also key, Johal said.

“We have a duty to make sure that we present a world that isn’t torn apart,” he told Radio New Zealand.


“This is a terrible, terrible event, a horrific event but in the broader context of things we need to remember that there are many people working… to help assist and protect people going about their everyday lives, so point them out.”

Moazzem Hossain, who survived the hail of gunfire at Linwood Mosque and has struggled to sleep since, told AFP he had worked hard to reassure his 16-year-old daughter.

“I tell her to keep mentally strong and to find resilience,” he added.

 AFP / Marty MELVILLE Families in the southern New Zealand city have struggled to come to terms with the mental toll of the attacks

Newbery admits his children’s curiosity has been a big challenge, noting that “you don’t have a choice with children, they ask the hardest questions”.


But he feels that public displays of compassion — as seen in the growing fields of flower bouquets at makeshift memorial sites in Christchurch — are a good starting point.

“I think doing stuff like… coming and paying respect, and showing love and compassion and not hatred towards the person who did it, is important,” Newbery said.

“I’m devastated but I’m trying not to show too much of that around them (the children).”

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Melania Trump ripped for bragging about helping children while her husband runs concentration camps for kids



Melania Trump was ripped on Monday for pushing her signature "Be Best" campaign against bullying while her husband, President Donald Trump, runs concentration camps for children along the southern border.

"Looking forward to collaborating with all of our #BeBest Ambassadors. Delighted to be working alongside so many people both inside and outside of government to better the lives of children everywhere!" Melania Trump tweeted Monday.

The response was some of the harshest since she wore an "I Don't Care" jacked to visit the border.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Border Patrol blocking Americans from donating toothbrushes and diapers for detained children



Donald Trump on the US-Mexico Border

On Sunday, Austin Savage and five of his friends huddled into an SUV and went to an El Paso Target, loading up on diapers, wipes, soaps and toys.

About $340 later, the group headed to a Border Patrol facility holding migrant children in nearby Clint with the goal of donating their goods. Savage said he and his friends had read an article from The New York Times detailing chaos, sickness and filth in the overcrowded facility, and they wanted to help.

But when they arrived, they found that the lobby was closed. The few Border Patrol agents — Savage said there were between eight and 10 of them — moving in and out of a parking facility ignored them.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Michael Flynn’s legal team is making bizarre moves — signaling he’s still hoping for a Trump pardon



When disgraced former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn recently hired a new firebrand lawyer, Sidney Powell, it suggested he could be maneuvering to change his legal strategy.

And on Monday, new signs emerged that his legal team is looking to shake things up. Flynn had another status hearing on Monday before Judge Emmet Sullivan as he awaits sentencing for charges brought by former Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

In the hearing on Monday, Powell, who had been publicly critical of the Russia investigation before joining Flynn’s team, requested a security clearance to review documents in the case. This was a surprising move, because the government said that there was no classified information in the documents it had turned over to the defense.

Continue Reading

Copyright © 2019 Raw Story Media, Inc. PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009 | Masthead | Privacy Policy | For corrections or concerns, please email [email protected]


Trump endorses killing journalists, like Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Online ad networks are now targeting sites that cover acts of violence against dissidents, LGBTQ people and people of color.

Learn how you can help.