PICS: Vigil for victims of two NZ terror attacks

Cape Town – Sympathisers gathered on the steps of St George’s Cathedral last night for a candlelight vigil in honour of the victims of the terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist, was charged with murder on Saturday. Remanded without a plea, he was due back in court on April 5 where police said that he was likely to face more charges.

Friday’s attack, which Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern labelled terrorism, was the worst peacetime mass killing in New Zealand.

Ardern also said she wanted to talk to Facebook as footage of the attack on one of the mosques was broadcast live on the network and a “manifesto” denouncing immigrants as “invaders” was posted online via links to related social media accounts minutes before the violence began.

The candlelight vigil was arranged by the dean of the St George’s Cathedral, Michael Weeder.

New Zealand Prayer 636 - PICS: Vigil for victims of two NZ terror attacks
There was a prayer led by pastor Micheal Weeder, Sheikh Sa-Abdullah Khan and Bishop Garth Counsell. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)
New Zealand prayer 619 - PICS: Vigil for victims of two NZ terror attacks
People gather on the steps of St George’s Cathedral for 49 minutes to and light candle remembering those killed in the bloody New Zealand Mosque attack. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

The attack prompted a flood of support for Muslims the world over, and the cathedral gathering was one of hundreds of similar events around the globe. “An invite went out on a broad extent on social media to all people at large,” Weeder said.

This will be some comfort to our Muslim faith community this will be for everyone killed and we pray that the number of deceased doesn’t increase.”

The horror attack reverberated across the world eliciting widespread condemnation from world leaders.

The Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) stressed that South African political leaders needed to do more to counter Islamophobia and acts of terrorism against any group.

MJC president Sheikh Irafaan Abrahams said: “The event is tragic and a reminder of our fragility as a people and society.”

Chairperson of the South African Muslim Network Dr Faisal Suliman called on all Muslims across the world to react with the dignity and self-restraint that was inherent in the teachings of the Qur’an.

New Zealand prayer 651 - PICS: Vigil for victims of two NZ terror attacks
People gather on the steps of St George’s Cathedral for 50 minutes to and light candle remembering those killed in the bloody New Zealand Mosque attack. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)
New Zealand prayer 626 - PICS: Vigil for victims of two NZ terror attacks
There was a prayer led by pastor Micheal Weeder, Sheikh Sa-Abdullah Khan and Bishop Garth Counsell. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

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vincent.cruywagen@inl.co.za

Cape Argus

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