New Zealand broadcasts adhan, falls silent in tribute of mosque attack victims
New Zealand has broadcasted adhan, Muslim call to prayer, and observed two minutes of silence in Christchurch, one week after the terror attack that left 50 people dead in two mosques in the city.
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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Muslim community leaders, local iwi and international dignitaries, among others attended ceremony to tribute victims of the shooting attack in Christchurch mosques as the country also broadcasted adhan, Muslim call to prayer on radio and television, reported Taqrib News Agency (TNA).
The ceremony was followed by two minutes of silence, which has been observed nationally.
Al Noor Mosque Imam Gamal Fouda, who survived Friday's attacks, then spoke, telling the crowd New Zealand was unbreakable, "We are broken-hearted, but we are not broken. We are alive, we are together. We are determined to not let anyone divide us."
"To the families of the victims your loved ones did not die in vain, their blood has watered the seeds of hope. Through them the world see the beauty of Islam and the beauty of our unity."
He addressed the people as,"To the people of New Zealand, thank you for your tears, your haka, your compassion."
Fouda also thanked the prime minister, the government and people of New Zealand as well as the police service and people who helped on the day.
"It's easy to feel lost after the trauma of Friday but Allah will give strength."
The ceremony was followed by Friday Jumuaha Prayers as a range of other vigils and commemorations are also taking place across New Zealand today.
Thousands of people arrived at Kilbirnie Mosque to show their solidarity with the Muslim community as they attended their Friday afternoon prayers.
Among the attendees were emergency service staff, Police Commissioner Mike Bush, Mayor Justin Lestor, MPs Grant Robertson and James Shaw and leaders from other religious communities.
A human chain formed outside the mosque, which at times become a waiata.
The call to prayer, the adhan, is an Islamic practice that is observed by devotees five times a day.
The call to prayer took place about 1.30pm, lasting about one minute and 40 seconds.