ZB

No public service for mosque attacks anniversary at families' request

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 7 Mar 2022, 12:41pm
The third anniversary of the Christchurch mosque attacks will pass without a public remembrance service, at the request of the bereaved families. (Photo / Alan Gibson)
The third anniversary of the Christchurch mosque attacks will pass without a public remembrance service, at the request of the bereaved families. (Photo / Alan Gibson)

No public service for mosque attacks anniversary at families' request

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Mon, 7 Mar 2022, 12:41pm

The third anniversary of the Christchurch mosque attacks will pass without a public remembrance service, at the request of the bereaved families.

The Christchurch City Council has announced that, instead, there will be a number of community-led initiatives aimed at encouraging people to show their love and support for the Muslim community.

March 15 will mark three years since 51 people were killed and others were seriously injured or traumatised.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel said that since the attacks, local and central government have sought to honour the wishes of the bereaved families and injured or traumatised survivors.

"In consultation with the bereaved families and survivors, national remembrance services were held in 2019 and 2021 – the latter date because the service planned for 2020 had to be cancelled due to Covid19. This year, the families and survivors have told us they no longer want this type of event."

The mayor said it is important to respect the wishes of those most affected by the tragedy.

"As a council, we will wholeheartedly support the events and initiatives that the bereaved families and injured or traumatised survivors have created, and we hope all city residents will do so as well".

Events organised include an Islamic Awareness Week, which will run from March 7-13.

Organised by the 15th March Whanau Trust, in collaboration with the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand, the Muslim Association of Canterbury and others, the week will include a keynote lecture, an Islamic Art and Calligraphy exhibition and giveaways across the city.

A Unity Week will also be held in Christchurch from March 15-22.

Co-ordinated by the Sakinah Community Trust, activities planned during Unity Week include a football tournament and an emerging ethnic leaders' breakfast.

While Unity Week is only going to be held in Christchurch this year, organisers hope it will eventually become a national event.

Going ahead, it is likely that Islamic Awareness Week and Unity Week will be permanent fixtures on Christchurch's calendar.