CHRISTCHURCH - Thousands gathered in New Zealand's cities on Sunday to protest racism and remember the 50 Muslims killed by a gunman in Christchurch and as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a national remembrance service to be held later this week.
In this image made from video, New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, center, hugs and consoles a woman as she visited Kilbirnie Mosque to lay flowers among tributes to Christchurch attack victims, in Wellington, March 17, 2019.
Everything about her response to the deadly terror attacks at Chrischurch, last week, deserves a standing ovation.
"Thank you PM Jacinda Ardern and New Zealand for your honest empathy and support that has won the respect of 1.5 billion Muslims after the terrorist attack that shook the Muslim community around the world", Sheik Mohammed wrote.
The attacks shocked a country of 4.5 million that is known for its tolerance and prompted global horror, heightened by Tarrant's cold-blooded livestreaming of the massacre.
The terrorists live-streamed the sickening attack, with the first happening at Al Noor Mosque in central Christchurch and the second at the Linwood Islamic Centre.
The faithful were allowed back into Al Noor shortly afterwards, and today Linwood re-opened after both sites underwent work to fix bullet holes and clean bloodstains.
"It brings all the memories back".
At the same time we are anxious to see the wonderful people of New Zealand and their Prime Minister well protected.
"If I didn't face him (the shooter) I would have been killed anyway".
Overall, 41 victims were buried in New Zealand this week, including 26 who were laid to rest March 22.
New Zealand came to a standstill on Friday to mark one week since the bloodshed, with the Muslim call to prayer broadcast across the country from a ceremony at Hagley Park followed by two minutes of silence.
"We wish you and your country strength in this time of sorrow and pray that the future of New Zealand is one of enduring peace and security", said the letter, which runs in tomorrow's Herald newspaper.
On Thursday, Ardern imposed an immediate ban on all military-style semiautomatic and automatic assault rifles.
Hundreds attended the event along with a number of politicians and Muslim leaders.