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Jacinda Ardern unveils memorial at Christchurch’s Al Noor Mosque

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern unveils a plaque at Al Noor Mosque on September 24, 2020 in Christchurch, New Zealand. The plaque honours the 51 martyrs who died in a Terrorist Act after Brenton Harrison Tarrant opened fire at Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch on Friday, 15 March 2019. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

Jacinda Ardern unveils memorial at Christchurch’s Al Noor Mosque

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern unveiled a memorial plaque for the victims of the 2019 Christchurch mosque terror attacks. 

Jacinda Ardern unveils memorial at Christchurch’s Al Noor Mosque

“In memory of the 51 Shuhadah [witnesses] who lost their lives,” read the plaque at Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch.

Prior to the unveiling, Gamal Fouda, Imam of Al Noor spoke of the “darkest days of New Zealand”.

“Although 15th of March was one of the darkest days of New Zealand…it also branded New Zealand as the mother of peace. We created a legacy through our response to this tragedy. That is our legacy,” said Fouda.

He spoke about how the attack has left “a scar on our hearts”, especially in the New Zealand Muslim community.

“Our children ask us if New Zealand is safe for them. We must not let that fear overtake us. Instead, we must focus on what we can do to keep our country safe.”

He said justice could be achieved by never forgetting the 51 victims, calling for an annual conference to “document the tragedy and its painful repercussions and to explain the danger of hate speech”.

Fouda also called on New Zealand’s leaders to enact “clear legislation that draws a clear line between the freedom of speech and hate speech”.

Ardern was presented with a headscarf at the unveiling. The Prime Minister said no one should be discriminated against for their religion.

The Government has yet to progress hate speech law. When asked about stronger hate speech legislation, Ardern said the Government needs to continue to track these incidents.

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