Sister of Christchurch shooting victim films 'racist' attack from 'Karen'

Kamilia Palu
·News Editor
·3-min read

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.

Karen
Aya Al-Umari filmed 'Karen' inside the department store in New Zealand. Source: Twitter/Aya Al-Umari

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.

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.

CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 24: Aya Al-Umari poses during a visit to the Linwood Islamic Centre on August 24, 2019 in Christchurch, New Zealand. Aya Al-Umari lost her only brother Hussein Al-Umari during the Christchurch terror attacks and has recently returned from Hajj. Saudi Arabia’s King Salman invited close to 200 victims' relatives and survivors of the Christchurch terror attacks to Mecca for the holy pilgrimage - covering all travel and accommodation costs, believed to be over $1 million. 51 people were killed and dozens were injured following the worst mass shooting in New Zealand’s history after a man opened fire at  the Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch on March 15, 2019. The Australian gunman is now 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. (Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)
Ms Al-Umari lost her only brother Hussein Al-Umari during the Christchurch terror attacks. Source: Getty

“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.

CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 24: Aya Al-Umari is seen during the sentencing hearing for Christchurch mosque gunman Brenton Tarrant at Christchurch High Court on August 24, 2020 in Christchurch, New Zealand. Brenton Harrison Tarrant was found guilty of 92 charges relating to New Zealand's worst mass shooting in history. The Australian was charged with 51 counts of murder and 40 of attempted murder as well as a engaging in a Terrorist Act after opening fire at Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch on Friday, 15 March 2019. 50 people were killed, and dozens were injured while another man died later in hospital. (Photo by John Kirk-Anderson - Pool/Getty Images)
Ms Al-Umari attends the sentencing hearing for Christchurch mosque gunman at Christchurch High Court on August 24, 2020. Source: Getty

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