A Jordanian prince and the family of a 3-year-old boy killed in the New Zealand massacre were among those who visited a mosque on Saturday when it reopened after a terrorist killed dozens there.
Crown Prince El Hassan bin Talal gave a heartfelt address and thanked doctors and first responders who aided victims at the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch on March 15.
Four Jordanians were killed, and a 4-year-old girl from there was shot but is recovering.
The prince hugged a man at the entrance. “He was crying deeply from his heart for a loved one he had
lost,” he said. “And I was saying, this is God’s will, be patient. Because only through patience can you endure.”
The father and uncle of the youngest victim, 3-year-old Mucaad Ibrahim, also were on hand as hundreds came to lay flowers or pray for the dead.
The boy’s uncle, Abdullahi Ibrahim Diriye, said he helped lift the child’s coffin to a grave site Friday as Mucaad’s mother wept.
“Always he was a happy boy, and he liked every person he met, not only Muslims,” Diriye said.
Inside, there were few signs of the carnage from eight days earlier when accused shooter Brenton Tarrant opened fire at Al Noor and a second mosque, killing 50, according to the Associated Press.
Crews had replaced windows that worshippers smashed in a desperate attempt to escape when the attacker mowed them down during Friday prayers.
Bullet holes were plastered over and painted. The carpet had been pulled out and buried because it was soaked in blood.
Shagat Khan, the president of the Muslim Association of Canterbury, said the group hadn’t planned to open the mosque so soon but did so when crowds gathered after police removed a cordon.
“Those who lost their families are of course quite emotional,” he said. “And those who were present here during the incident, of course the memories come back. The flashbacks.”
Brenton, 28, has been charged with killing a total of 50 people in the nation’s worst terrorist attack.
He’s scheduled to make his next court appearance on April 5.
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