Christchurch marks anniversary of mosque shootings

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© Provided by Associated Press Survivor of the Al Noor mosque shootings, Temel Atacocugu, center, exchanges a hongi with a member of the Tu Tangata motorcycle club outside the mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, Sunday, March 15, 2020. A national memorial in New Zealand to commemorate the 51 people who were killed when a gunman attacked two mosques one year ago has been canceled due to fears over the new coronavirus. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — People in the New Zealand city of Christchurch honored the 51 worshipers who were killed in a mass shooting a year ago in small but poignant ways Sunday, after a planned national memorial event was canceled due to fears it might spread the new coronavirus.

© Provided by Associated Press Members of the Tu Tangata motorcycle club walk into the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, Sunday, March 15, 2020. A national memorial in New Zealand to commemorate the 51 people who were killed when a gunman attacked two mosques one year ago has been canceled due to fears over the new coronavirus. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
Outside the Al Noor mosque, dozens of leather-clad bikers from the Tu Tangata club performed a traditional Maori haka. They were welcomed by mosque imam Gamal Fouda, who said people of all beliefs and cultures were stopping to pay their respects, and they were all united as New Zealanders.

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© Provided by Associated Press Members of the Tu Tangata motorcycle club perform a haka outside the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, Sunday, March 15, 2020. A national memorial in New Zealand to commemorate the 51 people who were killed when a gunman attacked two mosques one year ago has been canceled due to fears over the new coronavirus. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

One of those who survived the shooting at the Linwood mosque was Mazharuddin Syed Ahmed, who said that marking anniversaries was not typically a Muslim tradition but they were doing it so the wider community could grieve and remember. He said the shootings had provoked an outpouring of love and compassion.

© Provided by Associated Press Survivor of the Al Noor mosque shootings, Temel Atacocugu, center, takes a selfie with members of the Tu Tangata motorcycle club outside the mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, Sunday, March 15, 2020. A national memorial in New Zealand to commemorate the 51 people who were killed when a gunman attacked two mosques one year ago has been canceled due to fears over the new coronavirus. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

“Of course, we lost our loved friends, family, people and community,” he said. “But we are also seeing so much good has come out of it. So looking at the positive part of that. Today, it is such a privilege to be in this country.”

Imam of the Al Noor mosque Gamal Fouda smiles as he welcomes members of the Tu Tangata motorcycle club to the mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, Sunday, March 15, 2020. A national memorial in New Zealand to commemorate the 51 people who were killed when a gunman attacked two mosques one year ago has been canceled due to fears over the new coronavirus. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

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