Rabat – Saudi Arabia has offered hajj (pilgrim) opportunities to relatives of the “victims and injured” of the Christchurch, New Zealand, terrorist incident, Saudi outlet SPA reported last week.
“Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has directed hosting 200 pilgrims of the families of the victims and injured of the terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, which killed 50 people and wounded dozens,” SPA wrote.
The Saudi ministry of religious affairs, which is responsible for hajj logistics, has received instructions from the royal palace to make the pilgrimage a memorable experience for families of Christchurch victims, according to a statement from the ministry.
Commenting on King Salman’s “generous gesture,” Sheikh Dr. Abdullatif bin Abdulaziz Al Al-Sheikh, the Saudi Minister of Religious Affairs, said that the decision to invite the families who suffered firsthand the pain of the Christchurch terrorist act is consistent with the Saudi kingdom’s firm rejection on terrorism.
“The minister pointed out that the hosting of the families of victims and injured of the painful terrorist incident comes within the framework of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s efforts to confront and defeat terrorism and terrorists, as well as helping the families of the victims of this abhorrent act which violates all divine teachings and humanitarian values and principles,” the Saudi newspaper noted.
The statement from the ministry promised that Saudi authorities will do their utmost to provide all facilities and ensure that the families from New Zealand perform their hajj “in ease and comfort.”
The Christchurch incident, as the terrorist assault on two mosques in the New Zealander city, is widely known, left 50 people dead and a whole city torn asunder by the gravest hate-inspired tragedy it has experienced in recent decades.
As the West goes through an epidemic of far-right parties dominating the political discourse and winning elections, the heinous event raised questions about the resurgence of white-supremacist organizations, as well as the worrying trend of rising Islamophobia and anti-immigration narratives.