Christchurch victims ‘extremely grateful’ for Saudi Arabia’s Hajj invitation

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Families of the Christchurch victims are “extremely grateful and are thoroughly enjoying the experience” of Hajj, New Zealand superintendent Najla Hassan said, four days after they arrived in Saudi Arabia.

Last month, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz ordered the hosting of 200 people from the families of the Christchurch mosque attack victims to perform Hajj in the Kingdom. The families arrived in Saudi Arabia last Friday to perform the Islamic ritual.

“The invitation extended by King Salman has been gratefully received by the victims of Christchurch and also their families, they now have an opportunity to come to Mecca and experience the Hajj and the Umrah,” said New Zealand police superintendent Naila Hassan.

“The victims of Christchurch are extremely grateful and are thoroughly enjoying the experience, they are overwhelmed with everything that’s been laid on for them. They just cannot believe everything is here for them, they need to do nothing but enjoy themselves and start their journey of rehabilitation after this tragedy,” added Hassan.

Announcing the hosting decision, the Minister of Islamic Affairs Abdullatif bin Abdulaziz al-Sheikh said that it is part of the Kingdom’s efforts to counter terrorism and support the families of those who were affected by the “abominable act that is contrary to all divine teachings and human values and principles.”

The Christchurch mosque attack left 50 Muslims dead and dozens injured after a gunman walked into a mosque during Friday prayers and randomly shot people while broadcasting live footage on Facebook.

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