Three major cities in the country namely Christchurch, Auckland and Wellington, will host memorial service on the first anniversary of March 15 mosque attacks.

Christchurch City Council earlier last week revealed that a remembrance service would be held on the afternoon of Sunday, March 15, 2020, at North Hagley Park to honour those killed in the Christchurch mosque attacks and to build on the spirit of unity that came out of the tragedy.

The details of the programme will be released by the Christchurch City Council in the coming weeks which is being put together with inputs from those affected by the attacks, including survivors and families of the victims.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff at the Memorial Day in April 2019 (IWK Image)

The service will be jointly led by the local Muslim community, Christchurch City Council, the Government and Ngai Tuahuriri as Mana Whenua.

The remembrance day event in Wellington is organised by FIANZ in association with Wellington City Council called UMAH Day exhibition. The event will be held from 10 a.m. till 4 p.m. at TSB Auditorium- Shed six on 4 Queens Wharf, Te Aro in Wellington.

The theme of the exhibition is Understanding Muslims Attainment and Harmony (UMAH) which will have lectures series, presentations, prayer services and exhibition on the incident and the love received by the Muslim community by New Zealanders.

“The main objective of this event is to showcase the Islamic system and how it approaches various aspects and challenges in our modern life.

“We are expecting around 2000-3000 people for the daylong exhibition which is also open to scholars and researchers who have an interest and comprehensive knowledge of different subjects related to Islam and make a presentation there,” Dr Zainab Radhi, coordinator for the event from Wellington told The Indian Weekender.

Some of the subjects that scholars and researchers can choose to present paper are Women rights in Islam, Islamic Teaching on parenting, Scientific Quranic Miracles, Misconceptions and Islamic Wars, Islam in New Zealand, Islam and Maori culture common grounds, Ramadan and Fasting etc.

“The visitors will then have an opportunity to explore the displayed posters and presentations and have further discussions with the presenters. There will be a centrepiece with flowers representing the fifty-one lives lost in the Christchurch massacre. Visitors are welcomed to pay tribute to victims by contributing to the centrepiece,” Dr Zainab said.

Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch after March 15 attack in 2019

FIANZ is also calling for contributors and volunteers for the event that will help support and complete the remembrance day programme.

“Participants are kindly encouraged to contribute to and help shape the exhibition through submissions of their research abstracts and e-posters. The exhibition solicits contributions of abstracts, papers and e-posters that address themes and topics of the events,” FIANZ website with event information read.

Auckland will also host a remembrance day at Eden Park which will be similar to the Memorial Day observed last year. The event is being organised by the New Zealand Muslim Association in association with FIANZ on Sunday, March 15, 2020.

“The event will be on similar lines to the Memorial Day hosted last year; we will have prayers, live streaming of the remembrance day from Christchurch on Eden Park screens, several marquees and booths for people to know more about Islam, its teachings, misconceptions about the religion, an exhibition on the last years’ incident and the kind of response received by the community across the country,” Ikhlaq Kashkari, president of NZMA coordinating the event told The Indian Weekender.

More to come.