United in grief: Thousands of people gather for mosque terror memorial

New Zealand fell silent on Friday afternoon during a poignant memorial service exactly a week after the Christchurch terror attack.

Hundreds of Muslims and non-Muslims gathered in the city’s Hagley Park opposite the Al Noor mosque where worshipers were gunned down. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, wearing a black and gold headscarf in solidarity with the Islamic faith, briefly addressed the emotional gathering. 

‘New Zealand mourns with you, we are one,’ she said. 

The call to prayer was heard at 1.30pm local time (11.30am AEDT) and followed by two minutes of silence.

Then Imam Gamal Fouda gave a moving speech in which he said the 50 victims were martyrs and their blood has ‘watered the seeds of hope’. 

Zaed Moustafa – who was injured and lost his father and brother in the mosque attacks – was among those paying respects as well as Australian boxer and Muslim convert Anthony Mundine.

'We are one': New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (in a black headscarf) and her entourage arrive before Friday prayers at Hagley Park outside Al-Noor mosque

'We are one': New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (in a black headscarf) and her entourage arrive before Friday prayers at Hagley Park outside Al-Noor mosque

‘We are one’: New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (in a black headscarf) and her entourage arrive before Friday prayers at Hagley Park outside Al-Noor mosque

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern arrives before Friday prayers at Hagley Park. She briefly addressed the gathering, saying: 'New Zealand mourns with you, we are one'

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern arrives before Friday prayers at Hagley Park. She briefly addressed the gathering, saying: 'New Zealand mourns with you, we are one'

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern arrives before Friday prayers at Hagley Park. She briefly addressed the gathering, saying: ‘New Zealand mourns with you, we are one’

Moving: Worshippers pray a week after fifty Muslims were killed when a gunman opened fire on two mosques last Friday

Moving: Worshippers pray a week after fifty Muslims were killed when a gunman opened fire on two mosques last Friday

Moving: Worshippers pray a week after fifty Muslims were killed when a gunman opened fire on two mosques last Friday

Zaed Moustafa (in the wheelchair), the son of Hussein Mohamed Khalil Moustafa, a victim of the mosque attacks, attends Friday prayers at Hagley Park outside Al-Noor mosque in Christchurch

Zaed Moustafa (in the wheelchair), the son of Hussein Mohamed Khalil Moustafa, a victim of the mosque attacks, attends Friday prayers at Hagley Park outside Al-Noor mosque in Christchurch

Zaed Moustafa (in the wheelchair), the son of Hussein Mohamed Khalil Moustafa, a victim of the mosque attacks, attends Friday prayers at Hagley Park outside Al-Noor mosque in Christchurch

Then there was a prayer before the cleric leading the service gave a moving speech in which he said the 50 victims were martyrs and their blood has 'watered the seeds of hope'. Pictured: People at the gathering

Then there was a prayer before the cleric leading the service gave a moving speech in which he said the 50 victims were martyrs and their blood has 'watered the seeds of hope'. Pictured: People at the gathering

Then there was a prayer before the cleric leading the service gave a moving speech in which he said the 50 victims were martyrs and their blood has ‘watered the seeds of hope’. Pictured: People at the gathering

Addressing victims' families, the speaker said: 'Your loved ones did not die in vain. Their blood has watered the seeds of hope.'

Addressing victims' families, the speaker said: 'Your loved ones did not die in vain. Their blood has watered the seeds of hope.'

Addressing victims’ families, the speaker said: ‘Your loved ones did not die in vain. Their blood has watered the seeds of hope.’

The speaker said the rise of white supremacism was a 'global threat to mankind' and showed that 'terrorism has no race, no colour, no religion.' He called for an end to Islamophobia and the 'irrational fear of Muslims.' Pictured: A man sobs

The speaker said the rise of white supremacism was a 'global threat to mankind' and showed that 'terrorism has no race, no colour, no religion.' He called for an end to Islamophobia and the 'irrational fear of Muslims.' Pictured: A man sobs

The speaker said the rise of white supremacism was a ‘global threat to mankind’ and showed that ‘terrorism has no race, no colour, no religion.’ He called for an end to Islamophobia and the ‘irrational fear of Muslims.’ Pictured: A man sobs

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (pictured wearing a black headscarf) closed the ceremony with a speech at 2pm

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (pictured wearing a black headscarf) closed the ceremony with a speech at 2pm

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (pictured wearing a black headscarf) closed the ceremony with a speech at 2pm

A woman takes photo with her mobile phone of people attend the Friday prayers at Hagley Park outside Al-Noor mosque

A woman takes photo with her mobile phone of people attend the Friday prayers at Hagley Park outside Al-Noor mosque

A woman takes photo with her mobile phone of people attend the Friday prayers at Hagley Park outside Al-Noor mosque

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (in a black and gold headscarf) arrives before Friday prayers at Hagley Park outside Al-Noor mosque

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (in a black and gold headscarf) arrives before Friday prayers at Hagley Park outside Al-Noor mosque

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (in a black and gold headscarf) arrives before Friday prayers at Hagley Park outside Al-Noor mosque 

'Thank you New Zealand for teaching the world what it means to love and care,' the speak said. Pictured: An Imam giving prayer

'Thank you New Zealand for teaching the world what it means to love and care,' the speak said. Pictured: An Imam giving prayer

‘Thank you New Zealand for teaching the world what it means to love and care,’ the speak said. Pictured: An Imam giving prayer

The speaker thanked the New Zealand government, the emergency services and neighbours 'who opened their doors to save us from the killer.'

The speaker thanked the New Zealand government, the emergency services and neighbours 'who opened their doors to save us from the killer.'

The speaker thanked the New Zealand government, the emergency services and neighbours ‘who opened their doors to save us from the killer.’

In his speech, Imam Gamal Fouda said: ‘Last week I saw hatred and rage in the eyes of the terrorist who killed 50 and wounded 42 and broke the hearts of millions.

‘Today, from the same place, I look out and I see the love and compassion in the eyes of thousands of fellow New Zealanders and human beings. 

Addressing victims’ families, he said: ‘Your loved ones did not die in vain. Their blood has watered the seeds of hope.

‘Through them, the world will see the beauty of Islam and the beauty of our unity.’

The cleric thanked the New Zealand government, the emergency services and neighbours ‘who opened their doors to save us from the killer.’

‘Thank you New Zealand for teaching the world what it means to love and care,’ he said.

The speaker then called on governments around the world to end hate speech and the politics of hate.

He said the rise of white supremacism was a ‘global threat to mankind’ and showed that ‘terrorism has no race, no colour, no religion.’ He called for an end to Islamophobia and the ‘irrational fear of Muslims.’ 

United in grief: Thousands have gathered in a park for a public memorial service one week after the New Zealander terror attack

United in grief: Thousands have gathered in a park for a public memorial service one week after the New Zealander terror attack

United in grief: Thousands have gathered in a park for a public memorial service one week after the New Zealander terror attack

Muslims and non-Muslims together showed their support in Christchurch's Hagley Park opposite the Al Noor mosque where worshipers were gunned down last Friday

Muslims and non-Muslims together showed their support in Christchurch's Hagley Park opposite the Al Noor mosque where worshipers were gunned down last Friday

Muslims and non-Muslims together showed their support in Christchurch’s Hagley Park opposite the Al Noor mosque where worshipers were gunned down last Friday

Women wearing headscarves in tribute to the victims of the mosque attacks are seen before Friday prayers at Hagley Park

Women wearing headscarves in tribute to the victims of the mosque attacks are seen before Friday prayers at Hagley Park

Women wearing headscarves in tribute to the victims of the mosque attacks are seen before Friday prayers at Hagley Park

Muslims pray ahead of Friday prayers at Hagley Park in Christchurch, New Zealand during a memorial service following the terror attack

Muslims pray ahead of Friday prayers at Hagley Park in Christchurch, New Zealand during a memorial service following the terror attack

Muslims pray ahead of Friday prayers at Hagley Park in Christchurch, New Zealand during a memorial service following the terror attack

The call to prayer was heard at 1.30pm local time (11.30am AEDT) and followed by two minutes of silence

The call to prayer was heard at 1.30pm local time (11.30am AEDT) and followed by two minutes of silence

The call to prayer was heard at 1.30pm local time (11.30am AEDT) and followed by two minutes of silence

Armed police officers secure the perimeter before Friday prayers at Hagley Park outside Al-Noor mosque in Christchurch

Armed police officers secure the perimeter before Friday prayers at Hagley Park outside Al-Noor mosque in Christchurch

Armed police officers secure the perimeter before Friday prayers at Hagley Park outside Al-Noor mosque in Christchurch

Australian boxer Anthony Mundine (centre) joins Muslims for the call to pray at Hagley Park, opposite the Al Noor Mosque

Australian boxer Anthony Mundine (centre) joins Muslims for the call to pray at Hagley Park, opposite the Al Noor Mosque

Australian boxer Anthony Mundine (centre) joins Muslims for the call to pray at Hagley Park, opposite the Al Noor Mosque

Before the ceremony, prominent Muslims thanked the public for their support since the shooting. Pictured: A man at the ceremony

Before the ceremony, prominent Muslims thanked the public for their support since the shooting. Pictured: A man at the ceremony

Before the ceremony, prominent Muslims thanked the public for their support since the shooting. Pictured: A man at the ceremony

The public memorial comes the morning after more than 10,000 people marched silently through Dunedin to a packed rugby stadium where 15,000 people gathered for a sombre vigil. Pictured: Women at the ceremony on Friday afternoon

The public memorial comes the morning after more than 10,000 people marched silently through Dunedin to a packed rugby stadium where 15,000 people gathered for a sombre vigil. Pictured: Women at the ceremony on Friday afternoon

The public memorial comes the morning after more than 10,000 people marched silently through Dunedin to a packed rugby stadium where 15,000 people gathered for a sombre vigil. Pictured: Women at the ceremony on Friday afternoon

Two men embrace during Friday prayers at Hagley Park outside Al-Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand

Two men embrace during Friday prayers at Hagley Park outside Al-Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand

Two men embrace during Friday prayers at Hagley Park outside Al-Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand

Female members of the public with head scarfs gather for the call to prayer and the moments silence at Hagley Park

Female members of the public with head scarfs gather for the call to prayer and the moments silence at Hagley Park

Female members of the public with head scarfs gather for the call to prayer and the moments silence at Hagley Park

Mundine (right in red T-shirt), a Muslim who has visited surviving victims in hospital, was seen praying and hugging friends in the park

Mundine (right in red T-shirt), a Muslim who has visited surviving victims in hospital, was seen praying and hugging friends in the park

Mundine (right in red T-shirt), a Muslim who has visited surviving victims in hospital, was seen praying and hugging friends in the park

Australian boxer Anthony Mundine, a Muslim who has visited surviving victims in hospital, was seen praying and hugging friends in the park.

Before the ceremony, prominent Muslims thanked the public for their support since the shooting. 

‘We appreciate the support that the people of New Zealand have given to us at this time, and the opportunity to do this,’ community leader and head of the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand, Mustafa Farouk, said.

‘We are so happy that this prayer will be broadcast to the entire world so that everyone can be a part of it.’ 

The public memorial comes the morning after more than 10,000 people marched silently through Dunedin to a packed rugby stadium where 15,000 people gathered for a sombre vigil.    

Locals look on at the candlelit vigil held on Thursday night at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, to show their respects for the 50 people killed in last week's mosque massacre

Locals look on at the candlelit vigil held on Thursday night at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, to show their respects for the 50 people killed in last week's mosque massacre

Locals look on at the candlelit vigil held on Thursday night at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, to show their respects for the 50 people killed in last week’s mosque massacre

On Thursday night more than 10,000 people marched silently through Dunedin to a packed rugby stadium where 15,000 people gathered for a sombre vigil

On Thursday night more than 10,000 people marched silently through Dunedin to a packed rugby stadium where 15,000 people gathered for a sombre vigil

On Thursday night more than 10,000 people marched silently through Dunedin to a packed rugby stadium where 15,000 people gathered for a sombre vigil

A mass burial of the victims is expected to take place on Friday after the Police Commissioner announced that all 50 victims of the attack had now been formally identified and their bodies could be released to family.   

Up to 25 bodies have been washed in preparation for the burial at the city’s Memorial Park Cemetery.

More than a dozen victims have so far been buried after funerals on Wednesday and Thursday, including 71-year-old grandfather Haji-Daoud Nabi, whose final words – ‘Hello, brother’ – greeted the gunman who first attacked the Masjid al Noor mosque. 

Three teenagers were also among those laid to rest.  

The New Zealand government has moved swiftly to prevent a tragedy like the Christchurch massacre from ever happening again. 

On Thursday, Prime Minister Ardern announced semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles would be banned, as well as parts that can be used to convert less-powerful guns into military-style weapons. 

Legislation to introduce the ban is expected to be introduced by April 11, but in the meantime the weapons have become illegal under interim measures. 

A buyback program – similar to that of Australia’s after the Port Arthur massacre – will be launched to take existing weapons out of the public, and gun owners who don’t comply will face fines.  

‘On 15 March, our history changed forever. Now, our laws will, too,’ Ardern said. 

‘We are announcing action today on behalf of all New Zealanders to strengthen our gun laws and make our country a safer place.’    

Police have had a large presence outside the sites of the two mosque attacks in recent days, as well as at Wednesday and Thursday's funerals where more than a dozen of the 50 victims have been laid to rest

Police have had a large presence outside the sites of the two mosque attacks in recent days, as well as at Wednesday and Thursday's funerals where more than a dozen of the 50 victims have been laid to rest

Police have had a large presence outside the sites of the two mosque attacks in recent days, as well as at Wednesday and Thursday’s funerals where more than a dozen of the 50 victims have been laid to rest 

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