Four Manly Sea Eagles players paid an emotional visit Thursday, March 28, to one of the mosques which were the scene of a terrorist shooting in Christchurch about two weeks ago, Newshub reported.
“It’s hard to deal with those sort of things, the shock, and awe of it all,” Curtis Sironen said.
“We’ve just got to be as respectful as we can of the situation.”
Terrorist Brenton Harrison Tarrant killed 50 Muslim worshippers in Friday’s attacks as he targeted Al Noor and Linwood mosques.
The mosque, in which over 42 people were murdered by a terrorist, opened its doors Thursday to the community where hundreds of non-Muslims came to visit.
Toafofoa Sipley, Corey Waddell, Curtis Sironen and Jorge Taufua, all from Manly rugby team, planned the visit Thursday to show solidarity with the Muslim community.
Passing by the mosque, the players learned first-hand the generosity of the Muslim community who invited them into the Al Noor Mosque on Thursday.
Sironen tried to convey his thoughts on the emotional experience for the players.
“I was just hoping to drive past the place but the fact I was able to visit and go inside, it was yeah…,” Auckland-born Sipley said.
“It doesn’t matter what religion, what culture, what race you come from, when you’re a Kiwi, it’s an expectation that you’re family.”
New Zealand came together on Friday, March 22, to support the Muslim community as national TV aired adhan and Jum`ah prayer for the first time.
Nationwide ceremonies saw poignant scenes of Kiwis embracing Muslims, and of non-Muslim New Zealand women donning makeshift Islamic headscarves in solidarity.
Earlier this week, the All Blacks rugby player Ofa Tu’ungafasi accepted Islam following a visit with his Muslim teammate Sonny Bill Williams over the weekend to the survivors of Christchurch mosque terrorist attack.