CHRISTCHURCH   -   The two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch, where a gunman had killed 50 worshippers last week, reopened their doors on Saturday, with many survivors among the

first to walk in and pray for those who died.

At the Al Noor mosque, where more than 40 worshippers were killed by a white supremacist, prayers resumed with armed police on site, but no graphic reminders of the mass shooting, New Zealand’s worst.

Aden Diriye, who lost his three-year-old son, Mucad Ibrahim, in the attack, came back to the mosque with his friends. “I am very happy,” he said after praying. “Allah is great to us. I was back as soon as we rebuilt, to pray.”

Most victims of the shooting, which New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern quickly denounced as a terrorist attack, were migrants or refugees and their deaths reverberated around the Islamic world.

Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan, who visited the Al Noor mosque, said the attack assailed human dignity. “This is a moment of deep anguish for all of us, all of

humanity,” he said.

Police said they were reopening the nearby Linwood mosque, the second to be attacked during Friday prayers last week, as well.

New Zealand has been under heightened security alert since the attacks, with Ardern moving quickly with a new tough law banning some of the guns used in the March 15 shooting.

Ashif Shaikh, who was in the Al Noor mosque on the day of the massacre in which two of his housemates were killed and who came back on Saturday, said he would not be deterred. “It is the place where we pray, where we meet, we’ll be back, yeah,” he said.


A grief-stricken mother, who had travelled to New Zealand after her son was gunned down in the Christchurch mosque massacre, passed away overnight, officials said Saturday.

The woman, whose name was not available, was one of the two relatives of shooting victims to die this week as the city’s close-knit Muslim community reels from the killing of 50 people by the Australian white supremacist.

Hafiz Junaid, an imam from the city of Auckland in northern New Zealand, said the mother of one of the victims came from Jordan following the tragedy. “Last night she went to bed and she did not wake up. She passed away,” Junaid said. A police spokesman confirmed that a relative died from “a medical event”, and that another also had died, but offered no further details in either case.