Christchurch Marks The Second Anniversary Of Mosque Shootings, Calls It Its Darkest Day




Image Credit – Global News


On Saturday, New Zealand marked its second anniversary of one of its most traumatic days, when 51 worshippers were killed at two Christchurch mosques by a white supremacist gunman. Hundreds of people gathered at the Christchurch Arena for the remembrance service, which was also live-streamed. A similar service was planned last year and was then canceled at short notice due to the sudden spread of the coronavirus.

Kiran Munir, whose husband Haroon Mahmood was killed in the attacks, reportedly told the crowd that she had lost the love of her life and also her soulmate. She further added that her husband was a loving father of their two children. He’d just completed his doctoral degree and was looking forward to his graduation ceremony when she last saw his smiling face.

She went onto say that she had no idea that the next time she would see him, his body and soul would not be together. And, added that little did she know that the darkest day in New Zealand’s history had dawned. That particular day completely shattered her heart into a thousand pieces, just like the hearts of the 50 other families.

TemelAtacocugu, who had survived being shot nine times during the attack on the AI Noor mosque said that the slaughter was caused by mainstream ignorance and racism.

He added that the attack was on all of humanity. And, added that the survivors would never be able to erase the pain in their hearts and it would never be the same again.

However, the future is now in their hands and that they will go on and will be positive together, he added.

In the March 15, 2019 attacks, Australian Brenton Tarrant had killed 44 people at the AI Noor mosque during Friday prayers before they drive to the Linwood mosque, where he killed seven more.

Last year Tarrant, 30, had pleaded guilty to 51 counts of murder, 40 counts of attempted murder, and one count of terrorism, he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

After the attacks, New Zealand quickly passed new laws that banned the deadliest types of semiautomatic weapons.

During the service, the names of each of the 51 people who were thereby killed were also readout. The efforts of the first responders, which included the police and medics, were also being acknowledged.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told the crowd that when they were preparing for the speech, she had been at a loss for what to say because no words would ever change what had happened. She added that while words could not perform miracles, they do however have the power to heal.

The Muslim community had experienced hatred and racism even much before the attacks, and words should be used for change.

Ardern said that there will be an unquestionable legacy from March 15 and added that it is never too late or too early to be a more inclusive nation.