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Vigils, gatherings and giving back: How to show your support for victims of Christchurch shootings

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Jorge Silva

Vigils, gatherings and giving back: How to show your support for victims of Christchurch shootings

Vigils, gatherings and giving back: How to show your support for victims of Christchurch shootings

Like New Zealanders across the country, MiNDFOOD is grieving for the victims of the horrific terrorist attack on Friday in Christchurch and standing in solidarity with the Muslim community in Aotearoa.

As New Zealand mourns Friday’s terror attacks in Christchurch, official and grassroots vigils are springing up across the country. If you are looking to get involved, show your support or donate in aid of the victims, we’ve put together a list of events happening across the country over the course of the next few days.

A call to prayer

On Friday, the main vigil will be held at Christchurch’s Hagley Park as thousands are expected to come together in prayer and two minutes of silence one week after 50 people were killed in the terrorist attack.

Two minutes’ silence was chosen over the usual one minute because of the magnitude of the tragedy, The Herald reports.

The Muslim Call to Prayer for the Friday congregational prayer, the Jumu’ah, will be broadcast at 1.30pm on state TV, and will be followed by a two-minute silence at 1.32pm.

Wearing a headscarf

Kiwis have also been encouraged to wear headscarves on Friday to show support to Muslim community. A number of events have been organised around this show of solidarity.

The Islamic Women’s Council have told the organiser of the Scarves in Solidarity event that it is an “amazing idea” and a “symbolic gesture”.

Headscarf for Harmony is another event planned for Friday, inviting Kiwis to wear a headscarf or head covering at “work, school or play”.

Another event, called Wear a Headscarf Friday, is aimed at women in the Christchurch region and had been supported by the New Zealand Muslim Association. Thousands have expressed interest in the events on Facebook.

Newshub spoke to Amina Patel, a Muslim businesswoman and mother about what’s culturally appropriate when it comes to wearing a hijab, the term Muslims use for a scarf covering a woman’s hair and neck.

“We feel quite safe wearing it. It’s like if you don’t put your skirt or pants on and go to work. It’s part of our clothing and I must say it’s everybody’s personal choice,” says Patel who adds that it’s totally fine for non-Muslims to wear the hijab.

“We want to show our love and support and grieve for the loss of 50 mothers, fathers, children, colleagues and friends after last Friday’s terrorist attack in Christchurch,” those behind the #headscarfforharmony movement says.

The nationwide event is all about making Muslims in New Zealand feel safe.

Major regional events

In Auckland, thousands are expected to gather in the Domain on Friday from 6pm for the Jummah Remembrance Vigil organised by Migrants Against Racism and Xenophobia (MARX) and Auckland Peace Action.

Stuff report that in Kāpiti, a vigil is scheduled to be held at the Zeal youth centre at 132 Rimu Rd on Friday from 7pm to 8.30pm. Attendees are asked to wear white and bring flowers, waiata and messages of support.

In Christchurch, Community members are invited to join hands to create a human wall around the Masjid Al Noor in Deans Ave on the edge of Hagley Park on Friday at 1.20pm.

Donations

More than $7 million has been raised on one fundraising site alone – a Givealittle page set up by non-profit group Victim Support.

Victim Support will use all donations received to the page to provide support and resources for people affected by the Christchurch shootings and their family members.

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