Imam Thanks New Zealand PM After Prayers

The sun rises over the city skyline with the Burj Khalifa world's tallest building at the backdrop seen from a balcony on the 42nd floor of a hotel on a foggy day in Dubai United Arab Emirates Saturday Dec. 31 2016

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

New Zealand Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern's reaction to last week's shooting attacks on mosques in Christchurch is inspiring those around the globe to stand against terrorism and indiscriminate gun use.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern joined thousands of mourners near the Al-Noor mosque wearing black scarf over her head showing respect to Muslim religion.

Muslims returned to Christchurch's main mosque on Saturday for the first time since a white supremacist massacred worshippers there, as New Zealand sought to return to normality after the tragedy. "We are one", Ms Ardern said in a short speech, followed by two minutes of silence.

Muslims account for just over 1 percent of New Zealand's population, most of whom were born overseas.

The Christchurch attacks drew an outpouring of prayers and support for the victims and their families and led to condemnations of Islamophobia and white supremacy from several world leaders, although notably not from President Donald Trump, who instead stoked fear of illegal immigrants yet again.

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Gamal Fouda, the Imam (an Islamic religious leader) of the Al-Noor mosque, was there when the attack happened and said, "today, from the same place, I look out and I see the love and compassion".

Thousands more were listening in on the radio or watching on television as the event was broadcast live.

Fifty people were killed inside mosques in Christchurch on March 15 with more than 50 others injured in the terror attack.

New Zealand and Ardern have been widely praised for the outpouring of empathy and unity in response to the attacks. Tarrant, 28, is set to appear in court on April 5. Ardern donned a headscarf to visit those affected by the shootings, in the tradition of Muslim women, a move that prompted other New Zealand women to do the same thing. "Their blood has watered the seeds of hope".

"Let's form a human chain of love and support around your local Mosques on Friday at noon so they can pray in peace".

"Since the earthquakes, we've gone through a lot as a city and we're a lot more caring and looking out for one another", said James Sheehan, 62.

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