"We are not harmful. We're working hard and we are helping people."

A community in mourning.

Over a week after what the Prime Minister has called New Zealand's darkest day, the Tauranga muslim community remains in deep shock.

But local residents Kamal and Rabeya Hossain are humbled by the love and support they've received.


"My 9-year-old boy on Saturday, he was crying," Rebeya said. "He asked me, 'Mama, are we not safe in New Zealand?'

"My son is worried a little bit, he is very young. I'm going to the mosque every day and showing him people love us, support us. He asked the policeman, 'did you catch the guy?' and police man said 'yes, i caught him. You don't have to worry.'"

The Hossain family moved from Bangladesh to Tauranga 15 years ago.

Kamal is a taxi driver and Rabeya is studying to be a hairdresser. They believe New Zealand isn't a racist country.

"Because people know we're from different country, we've been here long time. We have a lot of friends in Tauranga.

"My sons love other children. I have never had any complaint from them that other children don't like them."

Last Friday, Kamal was at the mosque for his daily prayers, when he found out about the violent attack in Christchurch.

"When I came out of the mosque, I saw policemen and a journalist. They're asking 'are you guys ok?' We said 'we're ok, what happened?'


"They explained to us about Christchurch. We couldn't understand what was going on. We were very scared. It could happen in our own mosque in Tauranga."

The Hossain family hope Kiwis will continue to embrace the Muslim community.

"We are not separate. We are the same people. We are the same blood," Rabeya said.

"We are very sorry, we are very sad that this is happening," said Kamal. "Shouldn't be in New Zealand because… we never expect anything like this in New Zealand."

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