New Zealanders Form Human Chain To Protect Muslims in Prayer


New Zealand skipped right over the whole “thoughts and prayers” platitudes to real, concrete action after a mass shooting at the Christchurch mosque left 50 Muslim worshippers dead at the hands of a white supremacist.

On Friday, they went even further in acting to prevent violence and standing against Islamaphobia. At the Wellington Islamic Centre, New Zealanders formed a human chain of protection for the people of Islamic faith inside, putting their own physical bodies in the way danger to protect their fellow citizens.

CNN reports:

‘Witnesses said people of all races, ages and social classes linked arms during the call to prayer at the Wellington Islamic Community — known locally as the Kilbirnie Mosque.’

In response to the white supremacy spread by polarizing political figures around the world, New Zealand residents joined hands in solidarity with their Muslim neighbors, giving them a safe space to worship as they choose. Friday marks a day of worship for the Islamic faith, and New Zealand turned out to ensure they were able to honor it. One attendee told CNN that:

‘The atmosphere was sad, quiet, but determined. Many women wore headscarves. Many people cried openly. It was incredibly moving. People were determined that the community should pray without fear today.’

Worshipers thanked their neighbors and offered provisions for those standing in the hot sun to protect the worship center, but also reminded them that the current level of Islamaphobia, which has been deadly and violent for many of the faith, wasn’t built in a day and won’t be dismantled that quickly, either.

‘Members of the Muslim community offered water and sunscreen to those standing in the sun, witnesses said. “They thanked the people in the chain for their support, but also asked that the support happens every day,” Burt said.’

Featured image screenshot via YouTube