Pakuranga mosque opens its doors to all

Floral tributes and heart-felt messages posted at local mosques. Times photo Wayne Martin

The Muslim community in Auckland is opening the Masjid Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq at 5b Cortina Pl, Pakuranga, Ponsonby Masjid, Ranui Mosque, North Shore Islamic Centre for community leaders and religious leaders from across Auckland to join them and show solidarity for the lives lost in Christchurch.

Mosques in the four corners of Auckland will open their doors this evening (Friday night) for people of all faiths to gather in remembrance of the 50 lives lost in the Christchurch shootings.

Auckland Council is working with the Federation of Islamic Associations of NZ (FIANZ) and New Zealand Muslim Association (NZMA) to promote these events and to encourage the community to come together and stand as one in this difficult time.

NZMA President Ikhlaq Kashkari says this is also their way of thanking the community for their support, compassion and kindness in the aftermath of the attacks.

“Islam has always been a welcoming religion and we’re encouraged to look after our neighbours and those who need it the most.

“It’s important now, more than ever, to show solidarity and band together with our brothers and sisters across the country,” says Mr Kashkari.

“The wider Auckland community is warmly welcomed to come in, hear from a range of speakers and talk to people about their experiences growing up and living as Kiwi Muslims.

“We want to encourage an atmosphere of inclusivity and openness. It is only through standing together as one that we will be able both heal as a nation.

“This is a time when we need to look out for each other, support one another and continue to remind each other that we are in a safe, supportive and compassionate country,” he says.

Mayor Phil Goff will be attending the Ponsonby Masjid and Ranui Mosque to pay his respects to the Muslim community.

“I hope that as many people as possible can take up the chance to visit one of the mosques and to express to those hosting us our sympathy and support for them at this difficult time,” says Mayor Goff.

The events will be supported by police to provide reassurance and comfort and to keep this a safe space for everyone.

The mosques will open their doors from 5pm to 8pm and people are free to stay later if they wish.

 Where to get help:

  • If people are concerned about friends or family call 0800 115 019
  • For anyone needing well being/mental health support or advice text 1737
  • Monitor the NZ Police website for information
  • Anything suspicious call 111