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Linwood mosque hero happy to work with producers of controversial March 15 film if it helps to combat racism

A survivor of the Christchurch terror attacks has spoken out today, confirming he is willing to assist producers of the film They Are Us as he believes it will help address the problem of racism in society.

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Abdul Aziz says part of his story being woven into the film will help fight racism. Source: 1 NEWS

Today it was revealed that some of those affected by the attacks two years ago have agreed to work with filmmakers to address the concerns raised by the proposed new film.

That includes Abdul Aziz Wahabzadah, who chased the mass murderer with an EFTPOS machine at the Linwood Islamic Centre. 

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Fifty-one Muslims were killed while they prayed at Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre on March 15, 2019. Many more were seriously injured.

The Muslim Association of Canterbury released a joint statement today with a producer of the film saying they want to work together to both address concerns and have better consultation with those affected by the attacks.

They Are Us producer Ayman Jamal detailed the synopsis, part of which reads that “at Masjid Aroha - Linwood Islamic Centre – we witness the courage of the unarmed worshipper, Abdul Aziz, who chased the gunman away and in doing so saved so many lives”.

1 NEWS spoke to Wahabzadah today, who says he agrees the film should go ahead as long as it doesn’t produce “any harm”, because racism is a problem around the world and in New Zealand.

“If the Government agrees with it and wants this movie to go ahead, then these are good things,” he told Lisa Davies. 

Canterbury Muslim community to work with They Are Us producers around concerns with film

“All of us, what we did on that day was our duty as a human being. For me, the main thing is to educate the people against racism.”

He says he does not mind if his story is woven into the film.

However, he wasn't aware his story was going to be featured until told by 1 NEWS today. 

“For me if it educated people and things I don’t have any problem with it. Because there’s a lot of racism still going on all over the world and even in New Zealand as well.

“But if it educated people and tries to stop this racism and doesn’t harm me in any way or doesn’t harm anyone else in any way, it should go ahead.”

He says if the film goes some way to stop any further terrorist attacks happening in the world, especially in New Zealand, “we should be happy and go ahead with that”.