Dear Community Members,
“Verily we belong to Allah, and verily to Him do we return.” (Surah Al-Baqra, 156)
15th March marks the second anniversary of the Christchurch Mosque shootings. On 15 March 2019, New Zealand’s Muslim community suffered a horrific terrorist attack when a ‘white nationalist’ opened fire on worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch; Al-Noor Mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre. Fifty were killed on the day and another 50 wounded, one of whom died six weeks later.
The incident of 15 March 2019 was unprecedented in New Zealand. Prime Minister Ardern called the incident an “act of extreme and unprecedented violence” on “one of New Zealand’s darkest days”, and described it as a “well-planned” terrorist attack. The incident not only affected the Muslims but in fact waves of shock and horror impacted the whole of New Zealand.
The sad incident brought the whole country together as described by Ardern, “New Zealand mourns with you. We are one”, and the imam of the Al Noor Mosque, “We are broken-hearted but we are not broken.”
“And do not think of those killed in Allah’s path as dead: indeed they are alive and receive their sustenance from their Lord. They rejoice in the bounty provided by Allah.” (Surah Aal-e Imran, 169-170)
This day reminds us of our responsibility to promote love, connectedness, peace, hope, and safety in the community that we are a part of.
Pakistan Association of New Zealand (PANZ) gathered at Mount Eden War Memorial Hall on Sunday 14 March 2021 and held a remembrance event for the Shuhuda (martyrs), families, survivors and all those affected by the of 15 March 2019 terrorist attacks in Christchurch.
Quran recitation followed by communal prayer for the ‘Esal E Sawab’ for the Shuhuda were offered by the community members.
Our thoughts continue to be with the victims, survivors, families and all those affected by the 15 March terrorist attacks.
“Forever in our hearts”