Thousands of worshippers in Pakistan’s Jhang city have paid tribute to 50 victims of New Zealand’s double mosque attack, making a human image of New Zealand’s Al Noor mosque in Christchurch city, Aljazeera reported.
“We worked really hard to make this model,” one participant, Noor Hassan, said of the tribute.
“It was so pleasant that we were ready to stand like this for the whole day.”
50 Muslim worshippers were killed in March 15 attacks targeting Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch.
The terrorist attack shook New Zealand and prompted the government to tighten gun laws and launch a powerful national inquiry into the Pacific country’s worst peacetime massacre.
Paying a very special tribute to the 50 Muslim victims, thousands of Pakistanis clad in white traditional shalwar kameez and prayer caps made a formation of the mosque in contrast to the emerald green of a public field.
A second group formed the words “Islam is peace” nearby.
Huge New Zealand and Pakistani flags were also displayed along with a giant banner which read: “Solidarity with the martyrs of Christchurch from Pakistan”.
The tribute was organized by the Muslim Institute, a non-government organization aimed at promoting peace and stability in the Muslim world, which also released the drone footage.
Tribute organizers praised the New Zealand government after what had been a “very tough time” for Muslims in the country – especially Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
Her response “not only soothed the wounds of Muslims but also assured them that Muslims in their country are safe,” said Sahibzada Sultan Ahmad Ali, a religious scholar and one of the organizers.
New Zealand came together in the past weeks to support Muslims.
On Friday, March 29, around 25,000 gathered at North Hagley Park, a few meters away from Al Noor Mosque, a scene of the terrorist attacks.
A week earlier, the whole nation supported the Muslim community by airing on national TV adhan and Jum`ah prayer for the first time.
Nationwide ceremonies moreover saw poignant scenes of Kiwis embracing Muslims, and of non-Muslim New Zealand women donning makeshift Islamic headscarves in solidarity.