Christchurch – Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern has asked the citizens to maintain two minutes silence on coming Friday and will broadcast Friday’s Azaan (Muslim call to prayers) on National channels in order to defeat the surge in Islamophobia.
The Australian National Imams Council has called on Imams to dedicate this Friday’s Khutbah (sermon) to the Christchurch mosque terrorist attack.
“This is a human and an international tragedy, not only a Muslim and NZ tragedy. These acts of terror are there to divide us…and we reject this in all its forms and ways, but rather we will stay united and strong,” said PM Ardern.
“I cannot tell you how gutting it is… a family came here for safety and they should have been safe here,” she added.
She has declared a ban on semi-automatic and military-style rifles on Thursday, within six days of the massacre. Her prompt and proactive response to the terrorist attack has won global applause.
On the other hand, the bodies of victims from New Zealand’s mosques mass shooting were carried in open caskets on the shoulders of mourners into a large tent at Christchurch’s Memorial Park Cemetery on Wednesday — the first burials of the 50 victims.
The majority of the victims in the South Island city were migrants and refugees from countries like India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh.
The youngest was a boy of three, born in New Zealand to Somali refugee parents, while the first two victims buried were a father and son Khaled and Hamza Mustafa, who came from war-torn Syria.
“Seeing the body lowered down, it was a very emotional time for me,” said Gulshad Ali, who had traveled from Auckland to attend the first funeral.
Male mourners were dressed in long thobes, Kurta-Payjama, while female mourners wore abaya, hijaabs, and scarfs.
Heavy Police protection was granted, who stood guarding the funerals with flowers in their revolver holsters and on their high powered rifles.
Al-Noor mosque has been cleaned and is repaired for the Friday prayers, while the Muslim community show resilience to return to the mosque.
The terrorist Brenton Tarrant was remanded without a plea and is due back in court on April 5, when police said he was likely to face more charges.
Global intelligence agencies from America, Australia, Canada and Britain are building up a profile of the terrorist Tarrant.
“I can assure you this is an absolute international investigation,” Police Commissioner Mike Bush said at a media briefing in the capital Wellington.
PM Ardern visited Cashmere High School earlier this week in Christchurch which lost two students in the attack, Sayyad Milne and Hamza Mustafa.
She addressed over 200 students at the school auditorium about racism and changes in gun laws. She urged students not to mention the terrorist’s name —“Never mention the perpetrator’s name … never remember him for what he did, rather focus on victims.” she said. — Reuters