PM Jacinda Ardern joins Friday prayers one week after massacre

PM Jacinda Ardern joins Friday prayers one week after massacre

PM Jacinda Ardern joins Friday prayers one week after massacre

The spate of vandalism came just days after a gunman killed 50 worshippers during Friday prayers at two mosques in New Zealand, placing Muslim communities in the United Kingdom and around the world on heightened alert amid concerns over the safety of their communities.

She was one of many women embracing #HeadScarfforHarmony, to make a stand against the hate espoused by the Australian man accused of killing dozens of worshippers.

The observance comes the day after the NZ government announced a ban on "military-style" semi-automatic firearms and high-capacity magazines like the weapons that were used in the attacks.

With the incidents being on the back of the New Zealand attacks, people's fears are more heightened.

An immediate sales ban went into effect Thursday to prevent stockpiling, and new laws would be rushed through Parliament that would impose a complete ban on the weapons, Ardern said.

Numerous All Blacks players have demonstrated their support for New Zealand's Muslim community throughout the week, including captain Kieran Read, scrum-half TJ Perenara, lock Sam Whitelock and fly-half Beauden Barrett.

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While some congregated in Hagley Park opposite the Al Noor mosque to reflect and pray, thousands more were listening in on the radio or watching on television as the event was broadcast live. "Thank you PM Jacinda Ardern and New Zealand for your honest empathy and support that has won the respect of 1.5 billion Muslims after the terrorist attack that shook the Muslim community around the world".

The front pages of The Press and The Dominion Post carried the names of those killed in the attacks by a lone gunman, while The New Zealand Herald put hearts inside a mosque icon with a caption that said "A Call To Prayer".

Many mosques across the country are expected to open their doors to visitors and human chains will be formed outside some in symbolic acts of protection and solidarity.

"Since the earthquakes, we've gone through a lot as a city and we're a lot more caring and looking out for one another", said James Sheehan, 62. She added that the ban would be in effect immediately with legislation codifying the ban to come within the next month. CNN did not mention that universal background checks would not have prevented the Sandy Hook attack as the attacker stole his guns instead of buying them.

"We represent diversity, kindness, compassion", Ms Ardern said on the day of the attack.

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