"We Are Determined To Love One Another": New Zealand Calls For Nationwide Prayer A Week After Christchurch Massacre

"We Are Determined To Love One Another": New Zealand Calls For Nationwide Prayer A Week After Christchurch Massacre

There was a two-minute silence across the country while they mourn the loss of their brothers who fell during the mosque attacks.

It has been a week since terror struck the Christchurch mosque in Hamilton, New Zealand. The attack resulted in the loss of 50 people and left several others injured. The mosque recently held their first prayer after the horrific incident took place. The Muslim call to prayer rang out across New Zealand on Friday. The prayer was followed by a two-minute long silence that all the citizens across the country took part in. The silence was held to mark one week after a white supremacist gunned down 50 innocent people who visited the two mosques during their prayer session. The call was broadcast around the country and thousands of people took part in it, including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who stood silent opposite the mosque where the shooting began. The entire country - that has a population of 4.5 billion people - came to a standstill.

The massacre shook not just the country but the whole world. The country is known for its tolerance and its peace. Nobody expected something this terrorizing could happen in New Zealand. It has prompted horrified Kiwis to respond with vigils and performances of the traditional Maori haka dance. Mobs across the country have made peace with each other in order to protect the Muslims while they pray. The incident has united the entire country.


A muezzin in white skullcap issued the call to regular Friday prayer at 1.30 pm (0030 GMT) with chants of 'Allahu Akhbar' (God is greatest) as thousands listened in Christchurch's Hagley Park across from the Al Noor Mosque. During the two-minute silence that was held, there were public gatherings held in Aukland, Wellington, and other cities. People in Australia, the neighboring country, also took part in the prayer. The people stopped in the streets and in shops to mark the moment.


As reported by the Daily Mail, Al Noor imam Gamal Fouda then took the mic to denounce the hatred in the world and the misrepresentation of Muslims. He then praised the sense of Kiwi togetherness that has been sparked after the attacks. "I look out and see the love and compassion in the eyes of thousands of fellow New Zealanders and human beings from across the globe," he said.


He further added, "This terrorist sought to tear our nation apart with an evil ideology that has torn the world apart. But, instead, we have shown that New Zealand is unbreakable." Several women across the country wore headscarves to show their support. Kirsty Wilkinson joined the throng at Hagley Park along with two female friends, all in make-shift hijabs. "I personally am doing this to knock down my walls of personal oblivion to the terror Muslim people feel every day, worrying about their safety," Wilkinson said before the prayer began.


"I can take my scarf off if I feel afraid. They cannot. The message I want to send is that hate cannot win. We are all just people. What happened is not ok," she further added. 
The gunmen killed 50 people and injured several others during the massacre. Victims of the attack included men, women, and even children, all between the ages of three to 77. The gunmen live-streamed the attack, sparking global revulsion. The somber ceremonies were held just one day after Ardern banned the purchase or use of all assault rifles in the country. 


Military-style semi-automatic guns have also been banned. This ban was made in order to rid the country of the kinds of weapons that were used in the attack. The ban has now triggered leading American politicians to imply a similar ban in the United States. The country has witnessed increasing rates of gun violence over the past few years. It has also suffered from a stream of firearm massacres. Banning of guns in the United States is a topic that has been in the talks for a while now. Hopefully, it will be implemented soon. 


"We are so happy that this prayer will be broadcast to the entire world so that everyone can be part of it," Mustafa Farouk, president of the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand, said in a statement announcing the prayer session. Burials of all the victims were resumed on Friday morning. A hearse pulled into the ceremony on the eastern edge of the Christchurch where many have already been buried. 

Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian national, posted a rambling "manifesto" saying he was motivated partly by a desire to stoke religious conflict between Islam and the West. Well, he certainly has failed since the attacks resulted in uniting the people across the world to fight against terror.


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