RELIGION

Christchurch Newspaper’s Front Page Uses Arabic To Beautifully Honor Victims

One week after New Zealand's horrific mosque massacres, a local paper shared a message of peace.
The front page of The Press on March 22. The daily newspaper is based in Christchurch and distributed widely on New Zealand's
The front page of The Press on March 22. The daily newspaper is based in Christchurch and distributed widely on New Zealand's South Island.

Exactly one week after a gunman killed 50 worshippers at two mosques in New Zealand, a local newspaper honored the victims with a powerful display of peace. 

The Press, a Christchurch-based daily, printed the word “Salam” in both English and Arabic on its front page for its Friday edition, which is published on the same day that Muslims in New Zealand and around the world are returning to mosques for weekly congregational prayers. 

“Salam” means peace. It is also a word Muslims often use to greet each other. 

Underneath this word, the newspaper printed the names and ages of all 50 victims of the massacre. 

Members of the Muslim community participate in Friday prayers at Hagley Park, near Al Noor mosque, on March 22, 2019 in Chris
Members of the Muslim community participate in Friday prayers at Hagley Park, near Al Noor mosque, on March 22, 2019 in Christchurch, New Zealand. 

New Zealanders are observing Friday as a day of reflection and mourning. The Muslim call to prayer was broadcast live on national television and radio across the country in the afternoon, followed by two minutes of silence.

Thousands gathered for Friday prayers in a park near the Al Noor mosque, where 42 of the victims died. A mass funeral for 26 of the victims was held later in the day, the Associated Press reports.

Tarek El-Messidi, the founding director of CelebrateMercy, an American faith-based nonprofit, called The Press’ front page “an amazing gesture of support.”

El-Messidi told HuffPost that Islam’s founder, the Prophet Muhammad, instructs people to “spread peace.” 

“That’s literally what their newspaper is doing on its front page,” El-Messidi said. “It’s really beautiful.” 

HuffPost

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