News World

Jacinta Ardern As The Two Faces Of Eve: Solace And Steel

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is being hailed for her leadership as New Zealand hurts from a mass shooting in Christchurch. Within 24 hours, she has not only brought changes in the gun law but also addressed the terrified minuscule Muslim community saying the nation stands united in grief. The day after the hate crime, the PM visited Kilbirnie Mosque in the capital city of Wellington. Wearing a headscarf in solidarity with Muslim religious sentiments; and with a tearful, grief-torn face, she movingly hugged relatives of the dead, mumbling words of comfort into their ears. It was her words many used to articulate their own sadness: “They are us,” “this is not New Zealand” and “this is your home, you should have been safe here” were used on cards outside mosques and on social media. The solace was followed with steel. She addressed the attacker directly: “You may have chosen us, but we utterly reject and condemn you.” There was stern rebuke too when asked about US President Trump. Asked if she agreed with his view that right-wing extremism was not growing, but was the handiwork of a few individuals she delivered a sharp “NO,” that resounded around the world as a diplomatic slap in the face of hate-mongering leaders who demonise minorities for electoral gain. After her conversation with Trump, she said he asked how the US could help. Her reply was more a shaming retort: “Sympathy and love for all Muslim communities.” Jacinda is the world’s youngest female head of state at 38 years. She has been in the headlines for many praiseworthy reasons aside of being such a young leader. She discovered she was pregnant just days before being sworn into office in 2017. When she did have her baby, she went on maternity leave for six weeks, positively signalling for working women. She made history as the first world leader to attend the UN general assembly meeting with her 3-month-old daughter, the aptly named Neve Te Aroha {Irish Niamh means “radiant” and Te Aroha is Maori for “love”}, and partner Clarke Gayford. Jacinta has openly supported those with different sexual orientations.