Official call to prayer event announced

All New Zealanders will be invited to join a call to prayer tomorrow (22 March) as a show of support for the Muslim community. An official call to prayer event will take place from 1pm at Hagley Park, across from the Al Noor Masjid on Deans Avenue in Ōtautahi.

The Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern and community leaders have been invited by the Muslim community to be part of the official proceedings. Community leaders in attendance will include Dr Mustafa Farouk, President, Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Kaiwhakahaere Lisa Tumahai, Ūpoko of Ngāi Tūāhuriri Dr Te Maire Tau and Hon Lianne Dalziel, Mayor of Christchurch. There will also be an expected 30 foreign dignitaries present. Mustafa Farouk says the Muslim community has been deeply moved by the response from the community.

“We appreciate the support that the people of New Zealand have given us at this time, and the opportunity to do this tomorrow. We are so happy that this prayer will be broadcast to the entire world so that everyone can be a part of it.”

The official proceedings will begin at 1.25pm NZ time, with the call to prayer starting at 1.30pm followed by two minutes of silence at 1.32pm. From 1.34pm until approximately 2pm the Muslim community will pray and the crowd will remain silent. The service will conclude with a brief closing remark from the Prime Minister at approximately 2.02pm. Those wishing to attend are advised to arrive early, preferably before 1.00pm.

“Ngāi Tahu has been asked by the Muslim community to assist, so we will gather and do exactly that. We will support and comfort one another and stand with our Muslim whānau. We must be aware that the call to prayer is a sacred time and we will take the lead from the Muslim community.” said Dr Te Maire Tau, Ūpoko of Ngāi Tūāhuriri.

The public and media are also invited to attend and there will be designated areas for them to assemble. Lianne Dalziel says people are encouraged to take part in the two minutes’ silence from wherever they are in the world.

“This is an important time for the community here in New Zealand, and indeed all over the world, to come together as one.”

Please note: We ask people to please respect the Muslim community’s wishes – there are to be no drones, and no unauthorised filming of this event.