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New Zealand falls silent for mosque attack victims

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern leaves after the Friday prayers at Hagley Park outside Al-Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand March 22, 2019. Photo Credit: REUTERS/Jorge Silva

New Zealand falls silent for mosque attack victims

New Zealand falls silent for mosque attack victims

New Zealand fell silent for two minutes today to honour the 50 killed in last week’s mosque attack in Christchurch.

At 1:32pm television stations, radio stations, workplaces, and gatherings across the country took two minutes to reflect on what Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called New Zealand’s “darkest day.”

A police officer stands guard outside Al Noor mosque. Photo Credit: REUTERS/Jorge Silva

Ardern and thousands of others observed the Muslim Call to Prayer at Hagley Park near the Al Noor Mosque ahead of the planned 2 minutes silence. The Prime Minister has few but powerful words to say, “When any part of the body suffers, the whole body feels pain. New Zealand mourns with you, we are one,” she said wearing a black headscarf.

Women wearing headscarves as a tribute to the victims of the mosque attacks are seen before Friday prayers at Hagley Park. Photo Credit: REUTERS/Jorge Silva 

Imam Gamal Fouda, the prayer leader at the Al Noor mosque who was present during last week’s attack, told mourners he “saw hatred and rage in the eyes of the terrorist”.

“Today, from the same place, I look out and I see the love of and compassion in the eyes of thousands of fellow New Zealanders and human beings from across the globe,” Fouda said.

“We have shown that New Zealand is unbreakable, and the world can see in us an example of love and unity. We are broken-hearted, but we are not broken.”

People perform the Friday prayers at Hagley Park. Photo Credit: REUTERS/Edgar Su

The funerals of the 50 victims, whose identification was completed yesterday, are expected to continue and a national memorial will take place next week.

Ardern said New Zealanders were encouraged to join in wherever they were.

“Everyone should do what feels right for them, wherever they are – at home, at work, at school.”

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