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Terror attack : Thousands of New Zealanders attend a sermon next to Muslims in Christchurch

Muslim and non-Muslim New Zealanders attend Friday prayer in Christchurch, one week after the terror attacks./Ph. DR
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Thousands of people, in Christchurch, attended a Friday sermon, a week on from the terror attack that targeted two mosques in New Zealand, killing 50 people and injuring 50 others.

According to the Guardian, Muslims and non-Muslim New Zealanders gathered in a Hagley Park, opposite of Al Nour mosque where an Australian terrorist opened fire on worshippers on March the 15th.

During this gathering, imam Gamal Fouda, who survived last week’s attack, addressed worshippers and other Kiwis who came to support the Muslim community. «Last Friday I stood in this mosque and saw hatred and rage in the eyes of the terrorist», imam Fouda said.

«Today from the same place I look out and I see the love and compassion in the eyes of thousands of New Zealanders and human beings from around the globe», the imam said.

In his speech, the Imam thanked the people and families, who stood still and provided help for the Muslim community in New Zealand. He also urged world leaders to stop the spread of hate. The terrorist attack «was the result of the anti-Islamic and anti-Muslim rhetoric by some political leaders, some media agencies, and others», concluded the Imam.

The imam’s sermon was followed by a public call to prayer and a two-minute silence, broadcast on national radio and television, the same source said.

Muslims stood in the front row, while non-Muslim New Zealanders were at the back. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was one of the women who attended the prayer, wearing hijab.

Ardern spoke to the crow during the service, saying : «New Zealand mourns with you, we are one».

«According to the prophet Muhammad … the believers in their mutual kindness, compassion and sympathy are just like one body (…) When any part of the body suffers, the whole body feels pain. New Zealand mourns with you, we are one», Ardern said.

For the record, New Zealand quickly acted on gun laws, banning assault rifles and semi-automatics days after the deadly attack.

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