Mosque attacks remembrance service begins in Christchurch

The call to prayer is not something that should be feared. It should be respected

CHRISTCHURCH: A large number of New Zealanders have gathered in Christchurch's Hagley Park as part of a nationwide remembrance service in honour of 50 Muslims murdered in the country's worst terrorist attack.

Police officers of New Zealand's city of Christchurch have arrested a schoolboy for what they described as objectionable material just two weeks after deadly shootings at mosques in the city, the New Zealand Herald newspaper reported on Friday.

"Following the horrific attacks on mosques in Christchurch, Prime Minister Ardern spoke forcefully in defense of Muslims' rights", said Sophie Richardson, China director.

During his trip, he will also pay tribute to the "extraordinary compassion and solidarity" of the people of New Zealand following the horrific attack.

"If you give comfort to people who have extremist views, then this is how it ends", she said, referring to the events of March 15.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern hopes the remembrance service for victims of the Christchurch terror attacks will herald the beginning of necessary shifts in the country's society.

"We learn about things through their opposites", Islam said.

"I want a heart that will be full of love and care and full of mercy and will forgive lavishly".

We send our thoughts and prayers to everyone in New Zealand today.

Ahmed said that while he didn't agree with the gunman's actions, his Muslim faith taught him that even the terrorist was his brother.

A particularly poignant moment came when a girl named Salma, the daughter of slain worshipper Ashraf El-Moursy Ragheb, briefly got up on stage to remember her dad.

Prince William joined NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on a panel at the World Economic Forum meeting in January.

The Australian gunman Brenton Tarrant, 28, is the only one accused of the attack.

"He was a really nice man", she said.

Ardern will address the service, which has the theme "We Are One" and will be broadcast on national television.

This event comes only one week after thousands of people, in Christchurch, attended a Friday sermon.

Muslim volunteers, some of whom had travelled from Australia and Asia, handed out pamphlets with information about Islam as crowds left the park after the service. "Let that be the legacy of the 15th of March", she said.

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