Muslims return to Christchurch mosque as NZ works to move on

The front pages of New Zealand dailies The New Zealand Herald and The Press

The world's tallest building has been lit up with an image of New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern hugging a mourning women at the Kilbirnie mosque in Wellington.

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attends the Friday prayers at Hagley Park outside Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 22, 2019.

"New Zealand today fell silent in honor of the mosque attacks' martyr".

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres went to the first mosque built in New York City on Friday to show solidarity with the Muslim community, urging people everywhere "to reaffirm the sanctity of all places of worship and the safety of all worshippers".

People across New Zealand have observed the Islamic call to prayer as the nation reflected on the moment one week ago when 50 people were slaughtered at two mosques.

The Christchurch attacks drew an outpouring of prayers and support for the victims and their families and led to condemnations of Islamophobia and white supremacy from several world leaders, although notably not from President Donald Trump, who instead stoked fear of illegal immigrants yet again.

Her messages full of conscious and conscience embraced the Muslim communities of New Zealand and assured them that they are first-class citizens of their country while strongly condemning the massacre.

The front pages of The Dominion Post and Otago Times
The front pages of The Dominion Post and Otago Times

Guterres first spoke at Friday prayers in the mosque at the Islamic Cultural Center of NY and then addressed the media at its school. An accused gunman was remanded in custody until next court hearing.

New Zealand authorities have charged Australian Brenton Harrison Tarrant, 28, with murder in connection with the March 15 attacks on the Al Noor and Linwood mosques.

"Through them, the world will see the beauty of Islam and the beauty of unity", he said.

The observance comes the day after the NZ government announced a ban on "military-style" semi-automatic firearms and high-capacity magazines like the weapons that were used in the attacks.

To our Prime Minister, thank you. "We are alive, we are together, we are determined to not let anyone divide us", the imam said.

Parliament is expected to approve the proposed laws when it reconvenes in mid-April.

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