Asia-Pacific

NZ students' moving Maori hymn in 'solidarity' with mourning Muslim community

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Auckland school students have sung a moving Maori hymn at their local mosque in a show of support for the Muslim community.

Students from an Auckland high school have made a moving tribute to the victims of the Christchurch mosque attacks.

Heads bowed, the students from St Paul’s College sat in Al-Masjid Al Jamie Mosque as the sombre hymn ‘Mo Maria’ – a Maori hymn that calls for people to show love and be strong - filled the space.

Burials have started for the 50 people killed in attacks on two mosques. Another 50 more were injured.

Auckland high school students sign a Maori hymn inside the Al-Masjid Al Jamie mosque.
Auckland high school students sign a Maori hymn inside the Al-Masjid Al Jamie mosque.
Avondale Sam @BishopBWW

An extract of the song, "Kia kaha rā tātou - kia nui te aroha" means “Let us be strong. Let there be great love.”

A teacher told New Zealand’s 1 News the tribute was a show of support towards the Muslim community.

“It was just to stand in solidarity,” he said.

“We were meant to just walk up, say a prayer and sing a song outside but they were kind enough to invite us inside."

Bilal Slaimankhel from the mosque invited the students in after rain started falling outside, according to Radio New Zealand.

“It was amazing to see, the boys come in and show their respect and their love to what has happened,” Mr Slaimankhel told Radio New Zealand.

Students perform the Haka during a vigil to commemorate victims of Friday's shooting, outside Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Students perform the Haka during a vigil to commemorate victims of Friday's shooting, outside Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand.
AP

St Paul’s College head boy Joseph Johnston told Radio New Zealand the moment touched him deeply.

“Just knowing that someone had come in to somewhere so sacred and somewhere so peaceful and had done such a thing,” he said.

The students’ tribute forms part of an outpouring of support from New Zealanders towards the Muslim community and victims of the terrorist attack.

Hundreds of Christchurch students converged for a vigil to pay tribute to victims outside the Masjid Al Noor mosque, the site of the first attack on Monday.

Students raise candles as they gather for a vigil to commemorate victims of Friday's shooting, outside the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Students raise candles as they gather for a vigil to commemorate victims of Friday's shooting, outside the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand.
AP

Floral tributes have continued to build in respect to the Muslim community and those who lost their lives.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has declared the country will stop for a two minute silence to remember victims on Friday, a week on from the incident.

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