Isis threat 'real': Why the show of solidarity from New Zealanders is critical, according to Paul Buchanan
A security expert says New Zealand's strong show of solidarity and support for its Muslim community after Friday's attacks is key to keeping the country safe from any revenge attacks.
A high-ranking member of Isis called for revenge after Friday's attacks at Christchurch mosques that killed 50 people and injured 50 more. A 28-year-old Australian national has been charged with murder, with more serious charges highly likely.
The New York Times reported the terror organisation's spokesman, Abu Hassan al-Muhajir, broke six months of silence to make the call for retaliation.
Security expert Dr Paul Buchanan, director of 36th Parallel Assessments, said with Isis fighters returning to their home countries after defeat in Syria "the threat is real".
However, the level of threat depended on how New Zealand responded as a nation and rallied around its Muslim community.
"Defeat in Syria is sending Isis fighters back to their home countries to resume decentralised, small-unit and lone-wolf operations against soft targets.
"Massacre gives them a recruiting tool and incentive [revenge]. The threat is real.
"But New Zealand may be safe if the non-Muslim population rallies around the Muslim community.
"How we respond as a nation will determine the level of threat."
The aftermath of the unprecedented massacre has been marked by the near-absence of anger within the local Muslim community.
There have been some frustrated voices - most noticeably from the Islamic Women's Council, who said they had warned again and again of the growing potential for racist attacks on New Zealand soil. But the overwhelming reaction from Muslims has been one of shock, closely followed by humanity and thoughtfulness.
New Zealanders around the country have reported random acts of kindness since Friday - an extra scoop of chips at the takeaways, a discounted taxi ride, a hug from a stranger.
That positive response comes partly from Islamic teachings, religious experts say. It is also because of a determination to fit in to New Zealand life and communities.
"This is New Zealand's Muslim way of doing things," said Eva Nisa, from Victoria University's religious studies department.
"The majority of Muslims in New Zealand are very moderate, very peaceful. And the way Muslim leaders in general try to comfort other Muslims is a role model for other countries.
She added: "The very foundation of Islam is that notion of peace - we don't do retaliation."
Fuck me, they better fucking retaliate and prove appeasement doesn't work.