An imam who was leading prayers at a Christchurch mosque when a terrorist brandishing semi-automatic weapons mowed down his congregation said Saturday that the Muslim community’s love for New Zealand would not be shaken by the massacre.
“We still love this country,” said Ibrahim Abdul Halim, imam of Linwood Mosque, vowing that extremists would “never ever touch our confidence”.
Halim gave a harrowing account of the moment during Friday prayers when gunshots rang out in the mosque, replacing peaceful reflection with screaming, bloodshed and death.
“Everyone laid down on the floor, and some women started crying, some people died immediately,” he said.
But, he said, New Zealand Muslims still felt at home in the south Pacific nation.
“My children live here,” he said, adding, “we are happy”.
He said the majority of New Zealanders “are very keen to support all of us, to give us full solidarity”, describing how strangers exchanged hugs with him on Saturday.
“They start to... give me big hug, and give me more solidarity. This is something very important.”
The attacks on two mosques by a right-wing extremist left 49 people dead.
World leaders condemn New Zealand terrorist attackWorld leaders condemned on Friday a terrorist attack that left at least 49 dead and 20 badly injured in armed assaults on two Christchurch mosques. In ... World News
At least 49 dead in New Zealand mosque shootingsAt least one gunman killed 49 people and wounded more than 20 during Friday prayers at two New Zealand mosques in the country’s worst ever mass ... World News
Australia PM: New Zealand mosque gunman was Australian right-wing ‘terrorist’The gunman who killed numerous worshippers in a New Zealand mosque on Friday was a right-wing “terrorist” with Australian citizenship, ... World News