The Duke of Cambridge joined a video call on Thursday to speak with members of the Muslim community in Christchurch, New Zealand, that he’d met during his visit to the country last year after the Al-Noor and Linwood Mosque terrorist attacks.
The video call, which was posted on the Royal Family YouTube page, showed William talking with Imam Alani Lateef, Imam Gamal Fouda and Farid Ahmad, all of whom he met last year; as well as representatives from the Muslim Association of Canterbury.
“I’m honoured and glad that we’ve been able to find the time to get all of us on a call to reconnect after a year,” William says, after greeting everyone with an “As-salaam alaykum, everybody,” an Arabic greeting that means ‘peace be upon you.’
“I wanted to check up and see how you all are doing as a community from last year. I’m really proud of all of you, the whole community and the New Zealand government, for how you have all dealt with such an atrocity,” William said.
“You are a role model for how something so tragic can be negotiated with the utmost grace and dignity.”
Dahabo Ali told William that some families are still in shock over what happened, and that the young Muslim community is working to normalise Islamic identity to stop Islamophobia.
“The youth are making Islamic identity normal so Islamophobia is something of the past rather than something continuing to fight every single day. People are continuing to not only feel safe but have their voices heard and being seen in New Zealand.
“I think with everything that happened we are being heard and seen and things are changing,” Ali said.
“I stand here ready to help in any way I can. If there is more than needs to be done don’t hesitate to reach out,” William said.