‘Sincere Empathy’: NZ PM Jacinda Ardern Image Display on Dubai's Burj Khalifa

‘Sincere Empathy’: NZ PM Jacinda Ardern Image Display on Dubai's Burj Khalifa

UAE Vice President and Prime Minister His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Friday thanked New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for the "sincere empathy" towards Muslims after the Christchurch mosque shootings last week that left at least 49 dead in two mosques.

The Al Noor mosque was taken over by police for investigations and security reasons after alleged gunman Brenton Tarrant attacked Muslims gathered there and at a smaller mosque for Friday prayers, killing 50 people.

Ms Ardern was there to address the crowd on Friday, she said: "New Zealand mourns with you, we are one". Qureshi reminded that the mainstreaming of anti-Muslim sentiment by populists in the West had led us to this place.

The UN chief spoke of the victims of the Christchurch shooting, some of whom lost their lives saving others, and said he was "deeply moved by the extraordinary display of leadership, love and community from the people of New Zealand".

In the words of Imam Fouda, "The victims did not die in vain".

Thousands of people gathered at mosques in Wellington, Auckland and other cities for the prayers, with many non-Muslims wearing headscarves.

"We are allowing 15 people at a time, just to get some normality", said Saiyad Hassen, a volunteer at Al Noor.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern waves as she leaves Friday prayers at Hagley Park in Christchurch New Zealand. Credit PA
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern waves as she leaves Friday prayers at Hagley Park in Christchurch New Zealand. Credit PA

New Zealand Herald reported that a Twitter post containing a photo of a gun and captioned "You are next" was sent to the prime minister.

Police and tradesmen had been working intensively in the hope of repairing the mosque's bullet-scarred and blood-spattered interior ahead of afternoon prayers.

Friday's burials also include the youngest victim of the attacks, 3-year-old Mucaad Ibrahim. Tarrant, 28, is set to appear in court on April 5.

It has prompted horrified Kiwis to respond with vigils and performances of the traditional Maori haka dance, and to form lines behind Muslims to symbolically protect them while they pray.

"We are alive, we are together, we are determined not to let anyone divide us". At the same meeting, New Zealand FM Winston Peters assured that Muslims in his country would feel safe and secure.

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.

Related Articles