Wearing a headscarf and a pained expression, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern visited the families of Muslims who were killed in a terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch.
Rabat- “On behalf of all New Zealanders, we grieve together. We are one. They are us,” Jacinda Ardern wrote in a national condolence book for Muslims killed in the terror attack on two Christchurch mosques last Friday, March 15.
Ardern was the first to sign the condolence book.
On Saturday, March 16, Ardern visited Canterbury Refugee Centre in Christchurch and met the grieving families of the victims, promising to ensure their safety in New Zealand.
She also promised to hasten the returning of their deceased loved ones’ bodies to them so they can properly mourn and perform religious burial rites. Muslim families bathe and shroud the bodies of their loved ones and perform prayers.
Muslims usually bury their relatives within 24 hours. In the case of the mosque attack victims, their bodies will not be returned until post mortem examinations are carried out.
Many New Zealanders showed solidarity with the victims’ relatives, visiting mosques, mourning, and placing flowers on memorials.
In Morocco, the Wydad Casablanca (WAC) football club at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat, recited Al Fatiha, the opening surah of the Qur’an, to express support for the families of the victims.
The heinous attacks led people to call for a tightening of gun laws, particularly to add more restrictions to the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle used by the main shooter.
Arden told TVNZ, a New Zealand television channel, on Monday: “What the public rightly are asking right now is why is it and how is it that you are currently able to buy military style semi-automatic weapons in New Zealand, and that’s the right question to ask.”
“There are ways we can bring in effective regulation of firearms that actually target those we need to target, and that is our focus,” she said.
Last Saturday, one day after the attack, prosecutors in Christchurch charged with murder the Australian national Brenton Tarrant, 28, identified as the main mosque shooter. He will receive additional charges, said the court.
Another shooter, 18, was charged on the same day with “intent to excite hostility or ill-will.”