The White supremacist gunman who murdered 51 Muslims during Friday prayers at two separate mosques in New Zealand will be spending the rest of his life behind bars.

The 29-year old Australian is the first person to be sentenced to life without any possibility of parole and the first convicted under the country's terrorism law.

But just because this chapter is over does not mean New Zealand is resting. High Court Justice Mander noted, ''The mosques were places of sanctuary'', before acknowledging that many of the victims had fled violence to come to peaceful New Zealand.

''This country.......... was also seen as place of refuge and safety by many of those you targeted.,'' he told the terrorist.

The judge said the terrorist's hateful supremacist ideology'' has no place here. It has no place anywhere.

PM Jacinda Ardern felt ''relief to know that that person will never see the light of the day.''

As harrowing as the original incident was, the related events leading up to the conviction send a welcome reminder that, while Muslims in many 'Western' countries face prejudice and lack of access to justice, New Zealand is different.

The entire country seemed to come together around its small Muslim community. There were moving traditional 'haka' dances performed in honor of the victims, inspiring leadership from Jacinda Ardern, and outreach from everyday New Zealanders of all faiths and colours.

All of this reminded the victims that this pain was not theirs, but their entire country's. Even during the trial, survivors and relatives of the deceased were welcome by signs of 'aroha' - the Maori word for LOVE.

There were also moving images of policemen and regular folks hugging and consoling, and later rejoicing with the victims.

It is for this reason that some victims said they love New Zealand even more than before. It is for this reason that, to the people of New Zealand, The World Students Society wishes ''Aroha Nui''.

The World Students Society thanks editorial staff, The Express Tribune.


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