NZ invites imam to recite Quran in parliament session to honor mosque victims
The New Zealand Parliament on Tuesday held a special session with recitations from the Quran in solidarity with the Muslim community after the Christchurch massacre that left 50 people dead and several injured.
The procession into the house was “made up of faith leaders, plus the Deputy Speaker and one of the Assistant Speakers,” said the New Zealand Speaker of the House of Representatives Trevor Mallard in a tweet.
Today Imam Nizam ul haq Thanvi opened @NZParliament with a prayer. The procession into the house was made up of faith leaders, plus the Deputy Speaker and one of the Assistant Speakers. As-salamu alaikum, peace be upon you. pic.twitter.com/aWCKuHls6O— Trevor Mallard (@SpeakerTrevor) March 19, 2019
Mallard is heard opening his speech with the Muslim greeting “Asalaam Aleikum” (peace be upon you).
“It’s part of our expression of our sorrow and our hope. Following the terrorist attack in Christchurch, I have invited Imam Nizam ul haq Thanvi to say a prayer,” he said.
Imam Thanvi delivered the Quranic verse in Arabic, after which an English prayer followed.
The reading included verses from Surat al-Baqarah ahead of a speech by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. For her part, Ardern also opened her address with the Muslim greeting and vowed never to utter the name of the terrorist shooter in her remarks.
“He sought many things from his act of terror but one was notoriety, and that is why you will never hear me mention his name. He is a terrorist; he is a criminal; he is an extremist,” Ardern said, “But he will, when I speak, be nameless.”
The suspect Brenton Tarrant, 28, was charged with murder last week and was reprimanded without a plea. He is due back in court on the fifth of April where police say he is likely to face more charges.
Burials of victims from the attacks on the two Christchurch mosques have begun days after intense grieving for the 50 people killed by a lone gunman in what has been reported as New Zealand’s worst-ever mass shooting.