RIYADH: The King of Saudi Arabia has invited about 200 survivors of the Christchurch massacre and relatives of victims to the kingdom for a holy pilgrimage to Makkah.
The Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam to be perform by all able-bodied Muslims at least once in their lifetime.
King Salman bin Abdulaziz invited the survivors and victims’ relatives for the holy pilgrimage as he was shocked by the twin terror attacks, said Saudi ambassador to New Zealand, Abdulrahman Al Suhaibani, as per reports
The king is paying for all travel and accommodation costs, a bill that will run over one million US dollars.
Many of those travelling hope the trip will help them to heal as they are dealing with pain, trauma and lots of things.
Among the guests of King Salman include Temel Atacocugu, a 44-year-old kebab shop co-owner, who was shot nine times on that horrific day.
Mohammad Shamim Siddiqui, one of those survivors said, “It’s a lifetime achievement. It is I think every Muslim’s wish before they die to visit Makkah at least once in their life,” he said.
Recall that on March 15, Australian white supremacist Brenton Tarrant, 28, opened fire on Muslims devotees during Friday afternoon prayers in Christchurch’s Al-Noor and Linwood mosques in which at least 51 innocent lives and another 49 were injured.
The 28-year-old gunman faces 51 charges of murder and 40 of attempted murder, as well as the terrorism charge.
The accused live-streamed the mosque attack for 17 minutes on social media, which was shared across online platforms around the world, leading New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to spearhead an effort to get both governments and tech companies to improve their efforts to tackle extremist content.