51 seconds of silence for mosque attack victims

The attacks took place at the Al Noor Mosque (pictured) and one in Linwood. Photo: ODT files
The attacks took place at the Al Noor Mosque (pictured) and one in Linwood. Photo: ODT files
Jews, Christians and Muslims around New Zealand will fall silent for 51 seconds later this week to remember the mosque attacks in Christchurch.

The terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch on March 15 last year caused the deaths of 51 people.

The remembrance event on Wednesday, April 15 has been organised by the Wellington Abrahamic Council of Jews, Christians and Muslims.

The council said the March 15 commemorations were cancelled due to Covid-19, but this will allow people to remember the attacks in their own way.

The council's Jewish co-chair, Dave Moskovitz, said they wanted people to take 51 seconds at 1.40pm on Wednesday to pause briefly in silence to think about how they could make society more inclusive.

"We're asking people in each household to take less than a minute out of their day on 15 April to think: what can I do, what can our community do, and what can New Zealand do to stop hatred in our thoughts, words, and actions?"

Islamic Women's Council of NZ co-ordinator Anjum Rahman said it was not Muslim practice to commemorate the deaths of specific people, as death was seen as a transition from one stage of life to another.

"These attacks had a strong impact on our wider society," said Anjum Rahman.

"Many of us feel less safe now than we did before the attacks, and every person in our country has the basic human right to not fear for their lives, no matter what their religious beliefs are, nor how they might identify as a person.

"Celebrating difference and valuing others is the best way to counter hate."

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