NZ rugby union team Crusaders consider name change after Christchurch mosque attacks

The Canterbury Crusaders are a New Zealand rugby union team.

New Zealand rugby union team – Canterbury Crusaders – are considering a name change to distance themselves from the atrocities committed against Muslims in the wake of the terrorist attacks on two mosques in Christchurch in which 50 worshippers were massacred.

The club name was adopted in 1996 when rugby union in New Zealand became a professional sport, is derived from the medieval ‘crusades’ – a series of religious wars sanctioned by the Vatican and waged by European Christian kingdoms to take back the holy lands of the Levant from Muslims.

The logo depicts a crusader soldier holding a sword next to the club name.

In response to last Friday’s horrific attacks, Crusaders CEO, Colin Mansbridge, said the club stood for“support of our Muslim brothers and sisters”.

In a statement, Mr Mansbridge said:“In terms of the Crusaders name, we understand the concerns that have been raised. For us, the Crusaders name is a reflection of the crusading spirit of this community. What we stand for is the opposite of what happened in Christchurch on Friday; our crusade is one for peace, unity, inclusiveness and community spirit.

“In our view, this is a conversation that we should have and we are taking on board all of the feedback that we are receiving, however, we also believe that the time for that is not right now. Emotions are very raw and real at the moment.

“There is the need for this community to wrap our support around those who are most affected by Friday’s events, and that is the immediate focus for the Crusaders team. At an appropriate time, we will thoroughly consider the issues that have been raised and our response to that. That will include conversations with a range of people, including our Muslim community.”

On Tuesday, New Zealand’s Sports Minister Grant Robertson said that a debate about the club’s name was needed and that it was appropriate.

Mr Robertson added: “I’m aware of the conversations that they’re now having with, in particular, the Muslim community in Christchurch.

“The Crusaders is a well-established name and brand, but I think it is a responsible action to undertake those conversations now.”

As you’re here…

5Pillars have one humble request from you…

Thousands of Muslims around the world visit our website for news every day. Due to the unfortunate reality of covering Muslim-related news in a heightened Islamophobic environment, our advertising and fundraising revenues have decreased significantly.

5Pillars is editorially and financially independent, with no sectarian or political allegiance to any particular group or movement. Our journalism has been exclusively grassroots focussed and our sole purpose is to defend Islam and Muslims in the media.

This makes us unique in comparison to other online Muslim media outlets who are neither independently regulated by a reputable body nor are they managed by qualified journalists.

Our journalism takes time, money and effort to deliver. But we do it because we believe we have a duty to Allah (swt).

You may not agree or like everything we publish. However, which other Muslim news site that is run by experienced journalists will take on the responsibility of being a shield for Islam and Muslims in the media?

If you follow 5Pillars, and you understand its importance in today’s climate, then please support us for as little as £5 a month, it only takes a minute to make a donation. Jazakallah khayran.

Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:“The best deeds are those done regularly, even if they are small.” [Ibn Mājah]

 

CLICK HERE TO SUPPORT 5PILLARS

Add your comments below