On Friday, an estimated 5,000 people stood in silence outside the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, one of the two mosques where a gunman opened fire, killing 50 people.
The Muslim call to prayer at the mosque was broadcast on national media and was followed by two minutes of silence, with the rest of the country joining in. Prime Minister Jacinda Arden gave a short speech in which she quoted the prophet Mohammed. “When any part of the body suffers, the whole body feels pain,” she said. “New Zealand mourns with you, we are one.”
Non-Muslims stood in silence behind the prayer areas as Muslims offered their prayers a few meters from the church. Many women also chose to wear headscarves to stand in solidarity with the Muslim community.
Imam Gamal Fouda, who was present in the mosque during last week’s attack, said he “saw hatred and rage in the eyes of the terrorist”.
“Today, from the same place, I look out and I see the love of and compassion in the eyes of thousands of fellow New Zealanders and human beings from across the globe,” Fouda said, according to Al Jazeera.