Christchurch Mosque where 42 people were gunned down reopens for prayers

One of the two mosques which was attacked in Christchurch, Al Noor, was opened for prayers on Saturday.

In a hugely symbolic moment for the mosque’s members and the Muslim community, small groups of people were allowed back into the Mosque to pray and pay their respects to the 42 people that lost their lives.

Police handed the mosque back to the community and removed a security cordon just after midday. The second mosque in Linwood Avenue remains closed.

Fresh white paint was still drying on the walls. The carpet had been ripped out and had not yet been replaced. A few rooms remained locked.

Bullet holes had been plastered over and erased. Broken windows had been replaced and painted over with an intricate design. Outside, new roses have been planted.

Two men kneeled and prayed on the right hand side of the mosque’s main room. Four women prayed on the left.

As the Al Noor mosque reopened, some 3,000 people walked through Christchurch on Saturday for a ‘march for love’ intended to honour victims, the BBC said.

Many walked in silence and some carried placards calling for peace and opposing racism. Aden Diriye, who lost his three-year-old son in the attack, returned to the Al-Noor mosque on Saturday.

“I am very happy,” he said after praying. ” I was back as soon as we rebuilt, to pray.”

Recently, under stronger new gun laws, military-style semi-automatics and assault rifles will be banned, the New Zealand government had said.

According to the New Zealand Herald, PM Jacinda Ardern revealed the changes in a press conference.

Attorney-General David Parker said over the weekend that semi-automatic guns would be banned and 70,000 people have signed a petition against these types of weapons.

On Friday as a mark of respect, the Azaan (Muslim call to prayer) was broadcast nationally on TV and radio. Moreover, two minutes of silence was also observed.

Recently, Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern visited the Muslim community at the Canterbury Refugee Centre in Christchurch to express her solidarity wearing a black head scarf. 

Meanwhile, The UN Human Rights Council chief Michelle Bachelet has called the terror attacks on two mosques in New Zealand that left at least 49 people dead as “racist, Islamophobic, and terrorist”.

Earlier US President Trump also dismissed concerns that the massacre by a white supremacist terrorist in New Zealand indicates a dangerous trend.

Trump was asked if the killing of at least 49 people in two mosques in Christchurch by a man claiming that white people are being overwhelmed in their historic homelands demonstrates a rising problem around the world.

“I don’t really. I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems, I guess,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.

The terrorist — identified as an Australian white nationalist — livestreamed the assault on social media and published a manifesto filled with racist conspiracy theories.

He also referred to Trump as “a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.”

In the worst terror attack of New Zealand, 50 people have been killed and 48 more hurt, reported the New Zealand Herald. 

One of the terrorists, an Australian, livestreamed the shooting at Al Noor Mosque in chilling 17-min video. In the video, he can be seen shooting indiscriminately at people inside the mosque. The terrorist can been seen changing magazines of his gun and shooting the dead over and over again.

The Prime Minister of New Zealand  Jacinda Ardern has called it an unprecedented terrorist attack.

Earlier, Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison said that hooting in Christchurch was carried out by “an extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist” who was an Australian-born citizen.

Moreover, Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan while reacting over the massacre in New Zealand said that the act reaffirms the fact that ‘terrorism has no religion.’

He further added that these acts are happening due to increased Islamophobia post 9/11.

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