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Christchurch Attack First Responder Runs for Parliament

  • Sahra Ahmed, a nurse and first responder to the Christchurch mosque attacks, is running for parliament.
  • Ahmed is standing for the Green Party in the Christchurch East electorate.
  • Ahmed hopes to increase the representation of her Muslim community in politics.

Christchurch nurse Sahra Ahmed believes having more diversity in politics can help safeguard communities.

As one of the early responders to the March 15 Christchurch mosque massacres, her decision to run for parliament was the best solution towards healing a community that has been long under-represented, Stuff reported.

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“I was part of the first responders. One of the young guys came to me and said there’s been a shooting at the mosque … and there were … deaths,” she said.

“There were bodies in the driveway, bodies everywhere. There was a lot of crying and quietness. I didn’t know that silence and noise could actually coexist, but they did,” Ahmed said.

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“I have never experienced such a trauma… To go there as a nurse, as a professional trying to save lives… To go there and see the people from my community, the people I’ve known.”

Ahmed, who came to Aotearoa as an asylum seeker in 1990 from Somalia, is standing for the Green Party in the Christchurch East electorate in this year’s general election, which takes place on Saturday, October 14.

Christchurch Attack First Responder Runs for Parliament - About Islam

Lack of Representation

Ahmed was motivated to run by the lack of representation of people from her Muslim community in politics.

“I don’t feel we are visible. New Zealand is our home now by choice or by displacement,” she said.

“So if that’s the case, then the system has to work for us as it works for other people. We’re here to not only be a user of the system, but a contributor and being part of the system as well to improve and represent.”

Ahmed hopes by running she would help people in her community be seen.

“My faith is part of my identity… It’s part of my tapestry. I think the Muslim community is a growing community with a diverse need, and diverse values as well. Faith is something that unites us,” Ahmed said.

“Nearly 30% of people in this country are born overseas. Our political landscape doesn’t reflect that. It’s a massive number of people who are not getting true representation.”

More than four years have passed since the grim massacre of 51 Muslims in New Zealand’s Christchurch, which shook the world.

Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand and the seat of the Canterbury Region.

It is also home to 404,500 residents, making it New Zealand’s 3rd most populous city behind Auckland and Wellington.