Published: Fri, March 22, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

New Zealand observes Muslim prayer after mosque attacks

New Zealand observes Muslim prayer after mosque attacks

"New Zealand mourns with you, we are one".

New Zealand will broadcast the Islamic call to prayer and observe a two minute silence in ceremonies to mark a week since the Christchurch attacks.

She previously said that the primary perpetrator of the shootings used five guns including two semi-automatic weapons and two shotguns. "But what he's done, he was hoping to divide us, and instead, he's brought us all together in one big hug", she said, referring to the gunman. Hundreds of Muslim men at the park sat in socks or bare feet. One man in the front row was in a Christchurch Hospital wheelchair.

People listen the call for prayer in Hagley Park in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday in memory of the victim of shooting attacks at two mosques one week earlier.

"This terrorist sought to turn our nation apart with an evil ideology that has torn the world apart".

Williams said he wanted to show that he is a proud Muslim and a proud New Zealander.

"We are broken-hearted, but we are not broken". We are alive. We are together.

Christchurch native Fahim Imam, 33, returned to the city for Friday's service.

More than a dozen victims were buried on Wednesday and Thursday, including 71-year-old grandfather Haji-Daoud Nabi, whose final words - "Hello, brother" - greeted the gunman who first attacked the al Noor mosque.

"It has been a lesson for world leaders", the Imam said about the prime minister.

Police said there would be a "heightened presence" on Friday to reassure those attending weekly prayers. Others said silent prayers at schools, cafes and even offices.

A "March for Love" rally is scheduled to take place in Christchurch on Saturday.

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A day after the mosque attacks, Ardern visited Christchurch wearing a "dupatta" to express solidarity with Muslims in this hour of grief was well received.

Anthony Mundine joined in the call to prayer at Hagley Park.

Police and contractors had hoped to complete crime scene investigations and restore the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in time for the Islamic ritual.

A buy-back plan will be established for banned weapons. "We will ban parts that cause a firearm to generate semi-automatic, automatic or close to automatic gunfire", Ardern said. The legislation is expected to easily pass and already has the support of New Zealand's opposition party. New Zealand does not have a constitutional right to bear arms.

The buyback would cost up to NZ$200 million ($138 million), she said.

Imran Khan, who arrived from Auckland on Friday morning with four friends, said it was important to be present as a "show of support" for his friend Ashraf Azad's family. He was inspired by their resilience, he said.

"Now... we are announcing a ban on all military-style semi-automatics and assault rifles in New Zealand", Ardern said at a press conference.

"We are here in our hundreds and thousands unified for one goal - that hate will be undone, and love will redeem us", he said.

"If we want to make sure globally that we are a safe and tolerant and inclusive world we can not think about this in terms of boundaries", she said. I wouldn't say it was like nothing happened because people lost their life, and it was very sad. "People were running around so scared and helpless".

"But a Muslim is just right out there".

Erum Hafeez, 18 said she felt comforted by the overwhelming response from New Zealanders: "We are embraced by the community of New Zealand, we are not left behind and alone".

Media captionThe victims have been remembered at events throughout the week What will happen on Friday?

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