Hundreds gather in Amsterdam to commemorate victims of New Zealand attack

New Zealand flag projected onto Amsterdam Central Station after two attacks on Mosques in Christchurch, 15 March 2019
New Zealand flag projected onto Amsterdam Central Station after two attacks on Mosques in Christchurch, 15 March 2019. (Photo: I Amsterdam/Facebook)

Several hundred people gathered on Dam Square in Amsterdam on Sunday afternoon for a peace event in commemoration of the victims of attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand on Friday. The event was organized by 13 organizations who want to "send a powerful signal for peace and against terror", NU.nl reports.

On Friday a right-wing extremist man opened fire on two mosques in the New Zealand city. 50 people were killed and dozens were injured.

"Muslims, Jews, Christians and others: every person of good will has been touched by the terrible images that reached us from New Zealand on Friday morning. We want to express our solidarity with the victims and their relatives of the terrible attacks", the organizers said.

The event included a minute of silence and various speakers, including Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema, chief rabbi Binyomin Jacobs, imam Azzedine Karrat, and Boris van der Ham of the Humanistisch Verbond. Those who attended were asked to bring white flowers.

The event was organized by religious, philosophical and social organizations including the Council of Churches in the Netherlands, the consultation organization for Jews, Christians and Muslims OJCM, the council of Moroccan Mosques in the Netherlands RMMN, and the central Jewish consultation organization CJO. 

On Friday a few dozen people already gathered on Dam Square to stand vigil for the victims of the attack. Mayor Halsema spoke during the Friday afternoon prayer in the Al Kabir Mosque, and the municipality hung their flags at half-mast. The New Zealand flag was also projected on Amsterdam Central station on Friday and Saturday night to show solidarity with New Zealand. 

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