Prince William made a powerful call to defeat extremism “in all its forms” in a poignant speech at a New Zealand mosque that was targeted in the March terror attack by an alleged white supremacist gunman.
“The global ideology of hate will fail to divide us,” the Duke of Cambridge said during his address at the Al Noor Mosque, where 42 people were killed.
Fifty people were shot dead in total during the attack.
William, 36, appeared to draw upon the unexpected 1997 death of his mother, Princess Diana, following a Paris car crash as he offered a message of hope to grieving families who’d lost loved ones in the attack:
I have had reasons myself to reflect on grief and sudden pain and loss in my own life and in my role I have often seen up close the sorrow of others in moments of tragedy, as I have today. What I have realized is that of course grief can change your outlook. You don’t ever forget the shock, the sadness, and the pain. But I do not believe that grief changes who you are. Grief, if you let it, will reveal who you are. It can reveal depths that you did not know you had. The startling weight of grief can burst any bubble of complacency in how you live your life, and help you to live up to the values you espouse.
William said the attack had been “designed to change New Zealand” but instead had proved “just how deep” the nation’s “wells of empathy, compassion, warmth and love truly run.”
“You showed the way we must respond to hate, with love,” he added. “You showed that when a particular community is targeted with prejudice and violence, simple acts, like wearing a headscarf or broadcasting the call to prayer, can reassure those who have reason to be afraid.”
Check out the Duke of Cambridge’s comments from the 16:42 mark here: