New Zealanders Honour Mosque Attack Victims
New Zealanders on Friday came together to pay respect to those who lost their lives in the Christchurch mosque killings.
One of the survivors, Farid Ahmed, who lost his wife, spoke during the remembrance and said he has forgiven the gunman responsible for his wife’s death.
“I am choosing peace and I have forgiven,” Ahmed told tens of thousands who gathered to pay their last respect to the dead.
“People ask me, ‘why do you forgive someone who has killed your beloved wife?'” he said.
“I can give so many answers … Allah says if we forgive one another he loves us.
“I don’t want a heavy heart boiling like a volcano with anger, fury and rage — it burns itself and burns its surroundings
“I want a heart full of love, care and mercy. This heart does not want any more lives to be lost, any other human to go through the pain I’ve gone through.
“That’s why I am choosing peace and I have forgiven.” he added.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was also present at the remembrance service accompanied by representatives from around 60 nations, including her Australian counterpart Scott Morrison.
“Racism exists, but it is not welcome here,” she said amidst applause. she also added that she hoped New Zealand would set an example to stop the cycle of extremism breeding extremism.
The event was held amid tight security, with Police Commissioner Mike Bush confirming armed police from Australia were on site to assist their New Zealand counterparts.