MAKKAH – A group of 60 pilgrims from New Zealand are performing Hajj this year as guests of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman.
These pilgrims included those who sustained injuries or family members of those killed in the horrific Christchurch terrorist attacks during the year 2019, Asharq Al-Awsat reported.
King Salman had ordered hosting the families of the victims as well as those who were wounded in the terror attacks during the Hajj of August 2019. Accordingly, 200 pilgrims came to perform Hajj in 2019, taking advantage of the generous initiative and positive gesture to relieve their grief.
However, some of those who were hospitalized with injuries or a few family members of the deceased were not able to make the pilgrimage to Makkah.
Abdul Rahman Al-Suhaibani, Saudi ambassador to New Zealand, said that this group represents the last batch of pilgrims who are beneficiaries of the King’s initiative to host New Zealand pilgrims.
“The preparation of the list of the selected candidates for Hajj was carried out in coordination and cooperation between the embassy and the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah. He noted that King Salman ordered to host the families of the victims as well as the wounded to perform Hajj in 2019 after the Christchurch terrorist attack on March 15, 2019, in which 51 people were killed and scores injured.
“The embassy, in coordination with the Federation of Islamic Societies of New Zealand, facilitated the pilgrimage of 200 people. A number of the wounded were unable to travel due to their injuries or because of health and medical reasons,” he added.
The 28-year-old Brenton Harrison Tarrant, a white supremacist of Australian nationality, carried out the gruesome attacks by entering two mosques during Friday prayers. He began mass shooting at Al-Noor Mosque and then at the Linwood Islamic Center. The terrorist was arrested while driving to a third mosque in a bid to continue his shooting spree.
According to Al-Suhaibani, the pilgrims included Fareed Ahmed, who is disabled, and lost his wife. The assailant killed his wife while she tried to save him from murder at Al-Noor Mosque.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and other top officials of New Zealand attended a memorial ceremony for the martyrs and injured organized by the New Zealand government two weeks after the attack. During the ceremony, Fareed Ahmed delivered a speech in which he announced his pardon and forgiveness for the Australian killer in line with the importance attached to forgiveness in the religion of Islam.
SUPPORT MUSLIM NEWS NIGERIA
With your generous financial contributions to MUSLIM NEWS, you are helping to sustain a culture of journalistic integrity that promotes tranquil Islamic values and ensures it remains free and available to all.
Rawshield PR Company
Guaranty Trust Bank