People in New Zealand show up at mosques to lay flowers & write messages of hope
Muslims in New Zealand make up 1.1 percent out of a 4.25 million population.
New Zealand suffered its worst terror attacks ever on March 15, 2019.
A total of 49 people were killed, while another 20 more injured, after the mass shootings at mosques began at around 1:40pm New Zealand time in Christchurch.
Questions continue to be asked about the identity and motives of the four arrested suspects, three men and one women — one of whom is an Australian.
But even as the aftermath of the senseless violence continues to reverberate throughout the quiet Christchurch city in the southern island and beyond, the country is coming together to heal and deal with the pain and denounce the actions of those who pose real risks to society.
Messages of peace
Social media posts are showing the people of New Zealand coming together in solidarity to hold quiet vigils by laying flowers and contributing personal messages of hope at some of the mosques in the country.
This is despite mosques having been advised to stay closed.
Muslims made up about 1.1 percent of New Zealand’s population of 4.25 million people in census figures published in 2013. The latest census figures are unavailable.
More than 50 mosques and Islamic centres have been established across the country, including three in Christchurch.
The two mosques, Masjid Al Noor and Linwood Masjid, have been shut.
People, young and old, are continuing to show up with flowers and to scrawl chalk writings on the ground outside other mosques.
The wider community at large have so far not only denounced the shootings, but are finding ways to support the Muslim community, such as donating to the victims, attending vigils and opening up their doors during this time of mourning.
This was the scene earlier on March 15 in Hamilton:
These are the scenes at a mosque in Wellington: