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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 April 2019

New Zealand's top Muslim police chief makes emotional speech during vigil for attack victims

'Proud Muslim' Superintendent Naila Hassan tells crowd she is horrified by the Christchurch killings

A young girl places a note among flowers left in tribute to the Christchurch victims. AFP
A young girl places a note among flowers left in tribute to the Christchurch victims. AFP

An emotional appeal by New Zealand’s highest ranking Muslim police officer at a vigil for the Christchurch terror attack victims has gone viral.

Superintendent Naila Hassan reassured the public that the security forces were doing everything they could “to ensure the victims of this devastating attack are treated with the utmost respect”.

"I am a proud Muslim and I am a leader in the New Zealand Police and I am horrified at the events in Christchurch,” Supt Hassan told thousands of people at the vigil in Auckland.

Supt Hassan confirmed that police had increased their presence at mosques and Islamic centres around the country.

"I want our Muslim community in particular to know, and the people of Christchurch to know, that we stand with you and we all share in your grief and in your pain,” she said.

"We, the New Zealand Police, will do everything we can to support our wider community and in particular our Muslim communities.”

"I know this is a very, very distressing time for our Muslim community in particular, but to everyone in our communities," she said.

Standing next to Supt Hassan was one of Christchurch's Muslim community leaders.

He praised the police and politicians for their support.

"The New Zealand community has all come together to support us. I have had thousands of messages in just 30 hours," he said.

He urged people to think before acting and directed a message at extremists saying: "You are not going to frighten us."

"We will overcome the hate with love," he said.

Updated: March 17, 2019 03:47 PM

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