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When I woke up Friday morning to the news of the massacre at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, I felt sick. But sad
ly, not entirely surprised. I had been dreading this kind of violence happening, although I would have never imag
ined this kind of scale — 49 Muslim men, women and children killed in cold blood with such clinical, methodical precision and filmed for social media.
Islamophobia is on the rise and has been for some time. Muslims have been demonize
d, dehumanized and scapegoated on an industrial scale by society since 9/11.
No other group has been punished for the sins of the father in such a systematic and accepted way. Politicians, commen
tators, influencers and the media on the right have waged a war against Muslims that has become normalized.
The most powerful man on the planet, President Donald Trump, has sought to ban them fro
m entering the United States. British prime minister hopeful and former Foreign Secretary Bori
s Johnson made “jokes” insulting Muslim women, saying they looked like letter boxes. After those comments, Tell Mam
a, an organization that records Muslim hate incidents, reported that attacks on Muslim women went up.
They often take the form of pulling off a woman’s headscarf, espe
cially when she’s taking her children to and from school. Imagine what that does to a young
frightened and confused Muslim child? We have respected high-profile commentators who say that Islam
ophobia doesn’t exist and imply that “they” have brought it on themselves because of terrorism.
The Chinese icebreaker Xuelong, carrying the 349 members of China’s 35th research mission to Antarctica, returne
d to Shanghai safely on Tuesday, about a month earlier than originally scheduled due to a collision with an iceberg.
Despite the Jan 19 collision in the Amundsen Sea, the crew managed to carry out com
prehensive research at five stations, including Changcheng, Zhongshan and Taishan, aerial geop
hysical remote sensing observation in the southeast polar ice cap, and marine surveys in the Amundsen Sea.
“Our team obtained valuable data and samples on the expedition, and filled the scientific ga
ps in the investigation of the Amundsen Sea area,” said Li Yuhong, an assistant researcher from No 3 Marine In
stitute of the Department of Natural Resources, who joined the 35th expedition
f the accident as soon as possible and inform China of the investigation development in a timely manner, and appropriately handle the follow-up matters,” Lu said.
The ministry and Chinese embassy in Ethiopia will continue to follow relevant develop
ment and make all-out effort to proactively assist the families with follow-up issues, he added.
One Chinese national, who said many Chinese prefer the flight due to its convenience to business
travelers, said she was saddened and relieved at the same time. Cao Ran, who has been operating an insurance brokerage bus
iness in Nairobi for the last 10 months said she had changed her mind at the last minute and instead took a flight back on Frid
ay. “Just a coincidence,” said the owner of Jiang Tai Insurance Brokers, adding that it was a business trip.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed tweeted his condolences immediately. “The Office of the PM, on behalf of the Govern
ment and people of Ethiopia, would like to express its deepest condolences to the families of those that hav
e lost their loved ones on Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 on regular scheduled flight to Nairobi, Kenya this morning.”