Christchurch Mosque May Reopen A Week After Terror Attack
Business in Christchurch have rallied to help ensure that the mosque at the centre of New Zealand’s worst mass shooting will reopen to the Muslim community exactly a week after the terror attack.
On Friday 15 March at about 1:40pm, a gunman entered the Masjid Al Noor mosque on Deans Ave and opened fire. Fifty people were killed and dozens of others were injured in the attack.
The building was left covered in blood stains and bullet holes.
Investigations were completed at the scene on Tuesday night and since then various labourers and tradesmen have worked to clean and repair the mosque so that it would be ready for prayer on Friday afternoon.
Friday is considered to be a sacred day for Muslims and is the day that they come together to pray as a community.
It’s understood that some carpet layers, plasterers, glaziers ,painters buildings and gardeners have donated their time and materials to repair the mosque.
One gardener, who said he had several staff members at the site free of charge, was approached by a “government agency” to carry out the work and was told that they needed to have it completed in time for Friday prayers.
“It’s not about out business, it’s about trying to restore some normality back into the town,” he said. “To help is a really good feeling.”
Police also confirmed on Wednesday that they were “working relentlessly” to allow the Muslim community back into the Masjid Al Noor in time for Friday prayers.
The second mosque targeted in the attack, Linwood Masjid, was also expected to open this week.
Officers said that they would maintain a presence at both mosques to ensure public safety.
“We would like to thank the community and contractors who have helped us get the mosques back to their original states before these devastating attacks,” they said.
New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, announced that there will be a national call to prayer broadcast on TVNZ and RNZ on Friday and two minutes silence to mark a week since the terror attack.