“You are loved” - Messages to the Muslim community

By Kereama Wright

Tributes and messages of support continue to flow worldwide as the Muslim community of Aotearoa prepares to farewell the victims of Friday’s terrorist attack in Christchurch.

Hundreds of people from many different ethnicities have laid floral tributes near the two Christchurch mosques where 49 people were killed by 28 year old, Brenton Tarrant.

Late Saturday night, Christchurch resident, Fay Karaka along with his wife and two daughters paid their respects at the Deans Ave memorial site just two hundred metres from the Masjid Al Noor Mosque.

Karaka said, “me and my whānau have come here to tautoko anyone who needs some support. We’ve come to lay some flowers and harakeke in this tragic time.

Anything we can do, that’s us. We came to support anyone that we could. Even if it was just an ear. We are here.”

Under flashing blue and red lights, flowers and cards laid out carry messages of solidarity.

The Nepali community wrote, “Stay together, stay strong. New Zealand is still the most beautiful country in the world. Aroha nui, kia kaha.”

Others expressed aroha, “You are loved.” “Where there is heart ache. Let there be healing.” “Kami Tidak Takut! - We are NOT afraid.” “One humanity, one race, one unity, one love.” “Kia kaha, we love you.” 33 people remain in hospital, 11 are in intensive care including a one year old boy. Funeral proceedings for some victims are expected to get underway on Sunday.