New Zealand women wear headscarves in solidarity with Muslims after Christchurch shootings

People attend Friday prayers at Hagley Park outside Al Noor mosque in Christchurch New Zealand on Friday

People attend Friday prayers at Hagley Park outside Al Noor mosque in Christchurch New Zealand on Friday

Ardern joined about 20,000 people standing quietly at Hagley Park, in front of the Al Noor mosque where most of the victims were killed during Friday prayers last week.

Relatives and other mourners thronged into a Christchurch cemetery where 26 victims of the attack, and one person who died in a auto crash that was unrelated to the mosque shooting, were laid to rest in a mass burial.

"Quoting the Prophet Muhammad, she said: "The believers in their mutual kindness, compassion, and sympathy are just like one body". The way she donned Shalwar Kamiz with a dupatta on her head, and the visuals of her embracing Muslim women to condole them won the hearts of many inside and outside New Zealand.

A number of community groups in GTA and beyond are planning to gather at mosques Friday afternoon, in a show of solidarity for the Muslim community.

Also, while the response in New Zealand has been overwhelming support for the Muslim community, the response in the United Kingdom seems to be more clinical, and there are always explanations to justify what happened. Many of these women were wearing the headscarf for the first time in their lives.

Samantha Hayes, who reports for Newshub, was one of New Zealand's anchors who wore a headscarf on television.

People pray at Hagley Park outside Al Noor mosque in Christchurch New Zealand on Friday
People pray at Hagley Park outside Al Noor mosque in Christchurch New Zealand on Friday

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern won widespread praise last week for putting on a black headscarf when meeting members of the Muslim community after the shootings.

"This terrorist sought to turn our nation apart with an evil ideology that has torn the world apart".

They took their cue from a movement within the country to honor the 50 persons killed in the mosque shootings March 15 by wearing hijabs, beginning with Auckland doctor Thaya Ashman.

"We are broken-hearted but we are not broken".

The mosque's imam, Gamal Fouda, denounce white supremacy and told worshippers that all governments must work to end " hate speech and the politics of fear", which he said had been fomented by some political leaders and elements of the media.

"We have to change the rhetoric in our countries", she added, "to move towards each other, with gentle gestures and heartfelt kindness, to create the space to hear each other's stories, to discover our similarities, build relationship, make our streets safe for each other and deliberately and determinedly choose to live in harmony". We are alive. We are together.

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