New Zealand’s PM; Jacinda Ardern is paving the way for a new form of politics, a politics fueled by kindness, compassion, and humanity. Is it time now other nations followed?
Jacinda Ardern is a New Zealand politician who is currently serving as the 40th prime minister of New Zealand and leader of the Labour Party since 2017. But what is it about her that makes her one of the world’s most iconic leaders? Well, she became the world’s youngest ever female head of government aged 37 and becoming the world’s second elected head of government giving birth while in office (after Benazir Bhutto).
However, she gained prominence after the unfortunate Christchurch mosque shooting. Described as “one of New Zealand’s darkest days”, a white supremacist shot dead more than 50 people at two mosques in the city of Christchurch on the 15th March 2019. An unfortunate attack like this imposes as a challenge to any world leader but the compassion and calmness shown by Jacinda Ardern was a breath of fresh air, she was not only there for the people of Christchurch as PM but most importantly as a fellow human being. She stated that the victims “are us” and the “perpetrator is not.” Through this she stood united with the victims of Christchurch outlining New Zealand’s position on this tragic day.
Jacinda Arden was quick in her actions, straight away she stated there will be a change in New Zealand’s gun laws, making sure a tragedy like this never happens again. She refused to speak the name of the perpetrator and urged the public to speak the victims’ names instead. In doing so Jacinda Ardern placed the name, legacy and story of the victims at the centre of attention, honouring their lives and all their contributions towards New Zealand. Jacinda Ardern’s kindness fueled leadership reassured Muslims not only in New Zealand but across the world that in this society of ours there is no place for hate, no place for terror and no place for discrimination of any kinds.
In a speech to the UN, Jacinda Ardern stated: “if I could distil it down into one concept that we are pursuing in New Zealand it is simple and it is this. Kindness.” “In the face of isolationism, protectionism, racism-the simple concept of looking outwardly and beyond ourselves, of kindness and collectivism, might just be as good a starting point as any.”
This kindness driven leadership by Jacinda Ardern should be and needs to be adapted and followed by all world leaders. Especially, in light of 2020, this year has shown that we are stronger together and the value of kindness is more relevant than ever.
Kindness itself plays a very important and crucial part in Islam. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was the greatest advocate for kindness and showing compassion to others: “There is a reward for kindness to every living thing.”
Overall, the kindness- driven politics displayed by New Zealand’s PM is a politics all world leaders need to follow for a prosperous and bright future. It is only through kindness and compassion we as a society can stand united.