Christchurch’s Al-Noor mosque is reopening following the deadly attack it sustained about a week before.
The New Zealand city made international headlines March 15, when 50 people, many of whom were worshippers, were murdered at Al-Noor and the Linwood Islamic Centre. The massacre was orchestrated and carried out by a 28-year-old Australian man named Brenton Tarrant, who identifies as a white supremacist.
Following the attacks, Al-Noor was closed to the public, including worshippers, until Saturday when small groups were granted entry. Armed police remained on site during this time.
The initiative to reopen the mosque led to a “march for love.” About 3,000 walked through the city in an effort to pay tribute to the victims of the attacks.
Manaia Butler, 16, a student who helped to plan the march said, “We feel like hate has brought a lot of darkness at times. Love is the strongest cure to light the city out of that darkness.”
One father, Aden Diriye, whose 3-year-old was killed in the shootings, made a point of going to Al-Noor on Saturday. After he completed his prayers, he said, “I am very happy. I was back as soon as we rebuilt, to pray.”