Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern led thousands of mourners gathered at a park in front of the Al Noor Mosque, where most of the victims died, for a prayer followed by two minutes of silence.
The Azaan was heard across New Zealand on Friday, as thousands gathered to remember the 50 people martyred by a lone gunman at two mosques a week ago.
The Imam, Gamal Fouda of Masjid Al Noor, who survived the attack last week, has led the first Jummah prayer in Christchurch since the mosque shootings last Friday.
“Last Friday, I stood in this mosque behind us and saw the hatred and rage in the eyes of a terrorist, who killed and martyred 50 innocent people, wounded 42 and broke the hearts of millions around the world. Today, from the same place, I look out and I see the love and compassion,” Fouda said.
“The terrorist tried to tear us apart with evil, but New Zealand is unbreakable.”
Fouda warned against the “evil ideology of white supremacy” saying it was a threat to mankind globally.
“Islamophobia kills. Islamophobia is real. It’s a targeted campaign to influence people to dehumanize and irrationally fear Muslims.”
He called on governments and leaders around the world to bring an end to hate speech and the politics of fear.
Tens of thousands of people attended the Jummah prayer in a show of solidarity with the 50 victims of the shootings at two mosques in the city exactly a week ago.
A teary-eyed Ardern said she brought messages of love, support and grief on behalf of all New Zealanders to the crowd gathered at Canterbury Refugee Resettlement and Resources Centre.
The New Zealand Prime Minister was showered with immense praise. As
New Zealand stood by the Muslim community that was the centre of Friday’s horrifying terror attacks rooted in racial as well as religious hatred.