Christchurch shootings: New Zealand falls silent for mosque victims


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Media captionImam Gamal Fouda, who was main prayers, thanked the individuals of New Zealand “for his or her tears”

New Zealand has broadcast the Islamic name to prayer and noticed a two-minute silence in ceremonies to mark every week because the Christchurch assaults.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern joined hundreds of mourners close to the Al-Noor mosque, one in every of two locations of worship focused in final Friday’s shootings.

Addressing the Muslim neighborhood she stated: “New Zealand mourns with you, we’re one.”

Fifty individuals had been killed and dozens extra wounded within the assaults.

The lives misplaced and the world they revealed

Australian Brenton Tarrant, a self-proclaimed white supremacist, has been charged with one homicide and is anticipated to face additional fees.

On Thursday Ms Ardern introduced a ban on all varieties of semi-automatic weapons.

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Media captionThe victims have been remembered at occasions all through the week

What is going on on Friday?

1000’s of individuals have gathered in Hagley Park, close to the Al-Noor mosque, to mark Friday’s nationwide day of reflection for the victims.

The Muslim name to prayer, or adhan, was broadcast on nationwide tv and radio at 13:30 (00:30 GMT) and was adopted by a two-minute silence.

In an deal with beforehand, Ms Ardern stated: “In accordance with the Prophet Muhammad… the believers of their mutual kindness, compassion and sympathy are identical to one physique. When any a part of the physique suffers, the entire physique feels ache.”

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Reuters

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Many ladies wore headscarves as they arrived at Hagley Park in Christchurch

Imam Gamal Fouda, who was main prayers, stated the gunman “broke the hearts of hundreds of thousands around the globe”.

“Immediately, from the identical place, I look out and I see the love and compassion,” he stated.

“We’re broken-hearted, however we aren’t damaged. We’re alive, we’re collectively, we’re decided to not let anybody divide us.”

One observer, John Clark, stated the message was profound: “Folks might be rethinking how they react, how they assume, and the way they communicate typically – it is penetrated to that degree of society.

“We wish to assume that we’re a liberal neighborhood, however we all know that there are darkish elements,” stated Mr Clark, 72. “It should positively have an effect on New Zealand and possibly we’ll have much more to supply the world.”

Many mosques throughout the nation are opening their doorways to guests, and human chains might be fashioned outdoors some in symbolic acts of safety and help.

On the scene

Howard Johnson, BBC Information, Hagley Park, Christchurch

“I am sporting this in solidarity at this time,” stated hairdresser Melody, pointing at a blue headband adorned with gold crucifixes.

Like hundreds of others within the metropolis of Christchurch, she’s been struggling to come back to phrases with the horror of final week’s assaults.

All week promoting hoardings have been beaming constructive messages again onto the streets: “This is not us”, “Kia Kaha Christchurch” and “No room for racism right here”.

Friday was an opportunity for Christchurchers to convey these sentiments collectively in a single place on the identical time and to pay their respects to the lifeless.

Folks flocked from all corners of town and flowers and messages of sympathy had been laid on the foot of the park’s towering oak timber.

A Maori biker gang gathered within the enclosure for Muslim prayers to supply their safety. One had a big crimson crucifix emblazoned on the again of his leather-based waistcoat. It felt symbolic of New Zealand’s constructive, multicultural response to the killings.

When the tributes had been over individuals began pouring out of the park, again into town and their on a regular basis lives.

I approached Christine McCartney. She was born within the metropolis in 1951 and has lived right here her entire life. “It is all been deeply saddening,” she advised me, “however I really feel constructive about the best way this has introduced us all collectively.”

Victims of the Christchurch shootings

Fifty individuals misplaced their lives within the shootings at two mosques within the metropolis.

Earlier, Ms Ardern inspired as many New Zealanders as doable to make use of the day to pause and replicate.

“I do know many New Zealanders want to mark the week that has handed because the terrorist assault and to help the Muslim neighborhood as they return to mosques,” she stated.

“How we select to replicate through the silence might be totally different for every of us. Everybody ought to do what feels proper for them, wherever they’re – at residence, at work, in school.”

One social media marketing campaign has urged non-Muslim girls in New Zealand to put on a scarf for the day.

In the meantime, authorities officers labored into the evening to arrange the mosque and the our bodies of victims for a mass burial in Christchurch afterward Friday.

One one who took half stated: “All of the our bodies are washed. We completed round 1.30am. It was our responsibility. After we completed there was quite a lot of emotion, individuals had been crying and hugging.”

What’s the gun ban?

Ms Ardern introduced a ban on all varieties of semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles following the Christchurch assaults.

She stated she anticipated new laws to be in place by 11 April, saying: “Our historical past modified eternally. Now, our legal guidelines will too.”

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Media captionNew Zealand’s PM stated she hoped the ban could be in place by 11 April

“Six days after this assault, we’re saying a ban on all army fashion semi-automatics (MSSA) and assault rifles in New Zealand,” Ms Ardern stated in a information convention.

“Associated elements used to transform these weapons into MSSAs are additionally being banned, together with all high-capacity magazines.”

An amnesty has been imposed so the house owners of affected weapons can hand them in, and a buy-back scheme will comply with.

The buy-back might value as much as NZ$200m ($138m; £104m), however Ms Ardern stated “that’s the worth that we should pay to make sure the protection of our communities”.

Ms Ardern has additionally introduced that a Nationwide Memorial Service for victims is being deliberate for subsequent week.

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