The sister of a man who was killed in the horrific mosque attacks in Christchurch has filmed a tense encounter with an older white couple who questioned whether or not she was “born and bred” in New Zealand.
Aya Al-Umari was in New Zealand department store Farmers in Rangiora, south of Christchurch, at a makeup counter when she noticed the couple looking at her and her mum.
“We were standing in the lipstick counter. As we are in a pandemic, mum does the sensible thing and tries the lipstick *on her sanitised hand* then from her hands applies it to lips,” she wrote on Twitter.
Ms Al-Umari overheard the woman say to her husband, “she shouldn’t be doing that”, before asking the woman if there was anything she wanted to say to her directly.
“Karen pretends not to hear me and proceeds to say: ‘It's okay, it won't be long before they leave our country’.”
Ms Al-Umari said she was “gobsmacked” by what she heard and questioned how else she was supposed to sample the lipstick.
“This is when she asked me if I was born and bred New Zealander,” she wrote.
Warning ⚠️ A triggered Karen and Terry that we met today. Never ever in my 23 years in New Zealand did I think I'd upload one of those Karen videos . ~A THREAD ~ #SayNoToRacism #Karenstrikesagain pic.twitter.com/fGTNTpUQKv
— Aya Al-Umari 🇳🇿 آية العمري 🇮🇶 (@AyaUmari) December 28, 2020
Ms Al-Umari then started filming the incident, asking the woman “why does it matter” if she was born in the country.
In one clip the woman can be heard telling Ms Al-Umari to “go home”.
“No Karen, even though my brother was murdered minding his own business praying in the mosque, and you get triggered by us speaking another language. I won't go home, because Aotearoa NZ IS my home because I treat it like one,” she wrote.
The video was met with outrage from Twitter users, with many apologising for “Karen’s” words.
“I'm so sorry you guys had to deal with this,” one woman wrote.
“Let me add my apologies to you to those here for the disgusting behaviour of this couple in the country we share, Aotearoa. There is no excuse for this and I am so glad you called it out,” another said.
Ms Al-Umari’s only brother Hussein Al-Umari was one of 51 people killed on March 15 last year when a gunman opened fire at two mosques in the city.
The gunman is facing 51 charges of murder and 40 of attempted murder as well as engaging in a Terrorist Act. He is due to go on trial in May 2020.
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